Conference races will change quite a bit with the lineup of volleyball matches in Classes 1A and 2A this week. We look at the most important contests in each bracket and break down what results mean to the league standings. There are also a couple of non-league pairings of note as well as teams also battle to improve their RPI numbers.
Springfield at Kim/Branson (Tuesday)
Walsh at South Baca (Tuesday)
Two matches on the same night will help determine how many teams can contend for the Ark Valley championship and top district seed. Springfield and Walsh are both unbeaten 2-0 and are in much better position than their rivals but that changes if the Longhorns and Eagles both lose. Walsh rallied past Kim/Branson last week; dropping the first two sets before taking the final three in a wild five set contest. The loss dropped Kim/Branson to 8-3 on the season. Springfield moved to 2-0 in the conference by sweeping South Baca last week; handing the Patriots their first loss of the entire season.
Genoa Hugo at Flagler/Hi Plains (Tuesday)
It’s a very attractive non-league matchup that could impact the regional tournament bracket later this year. The Pirates are 10-1 and 4th in RPI this week. They’ll carry a six match winning streak into the contest following a lone loss to 2A Limon. The Thunder are 8-3 but only 18th in RPI. They’ve also grabbed six straight wins following a loss to Cotopaxi. Other losses are against Otis and Limon. They lost to the Badgers in three while the Pirates worked a full five sets in their loss.
Flatirons Academy at Mile High Academy (Thursday)
One of the clubs will fall out of first place in the 5280 conference as both enter the contest unbeaten in league play and tied with Belleview Christian. Mile High Academy is also unbeaten overall (8-0) and has not dropped a set all season. They’re also 10th in the RPI this week. Flatirons Academy is just 2-5 away from the 5280 schedule and is 28th in RPI. Belleview Christian is 11-2 and coming off a solid win over Shining Mountain last week. The Bruins are 16th in RPI.
Weldon Valley at Fleming (Thursday)
Briggsdale downed Prairie last week so Fleming must get a home win to keep pace with the Falcons. The Wildcats won the first meeting with Weldon Valley in four sets behind 17 kills from Whitney Chintala and 14 from Kally Kirkwood. Chintala added 29 digs and Kendyl Kirkwood provided 27 digs and 33 assists.
Briggsdale at Otis (Friday)
Another good non-league test on the 1A schedule this week and the pairing could easily serve as a preview of a state tournament match. Both teams played previous #1 Prairie in their last match. Briggsdale scored a five-set win that kept them tied with Fleming atop the North Central. Otis fell short in five-sets and fell to 9-5 on the season. Despite that record, the Bulldogs are in great shape in the RPI (7th) due to a very strong schedule. Briggsdale is two spots higher at #5.
Yuma at Fleming (Friday)
This match continues a key stretch for the Wildcats who have the 2A defending state champions in-between key conference games with Weldon Valley and Prairie. They’ve won 11 straight since an opening loss to Briggsdale and as mentioned they share first place with the Falcons. Yuma will be coming off a crucial Lower Platte showdown on Tuesday but they will enter the week winners in three of their last four. That stretch has gotten the Indians to five hundred for the season (7-7).
McClave Tournament (Saturday)
Top ranked La Veta is the favorite here as they’ve grabbed the top trophy each of the past two years. They’re unbeaten at 12-0 and may not drop a set. The host Cardinals could be their most difficult threat.
Sargent at Del Norte (Tuesday)
Not much has changed in the Southern Peaks this year as these two clubs along with Sanford continue to battle for the league crown. All three head to the week with one conference loss so the loser of this one will fall off the pace a bit. Del Norte was alone in first but their five-set loss to Sanford last week created the three-way tie. The Tigers beat Sargent in the first meeting (3-1) as Chloe McComas (11) and Kaeci Madrid (9) combined for 20 kills.
Merino at Yuma (Tuesday)
A chance here for the Rams to basically wrap up the Lower Platte championship. They took over the top spot by beating Wiggins 3-1 last week. Yuma is one game back but still in control of their championship hopes as they also have a match remaining with Wiggins on the 18th. The Indians lost an early league game to Sedgwick County but has stayed in contention by winning their last four in the Lower Platte. Merino has won 12 straight including four against ranked opponents.
Vail Mountain at West Grand (Thursday)
League positioning behind first place Meeker on the line here. Both have dropped league matches to the Cowboys with West Grand alone in second and Vail Mountain a game back and tied with Paonia in third. West Grand has won three straight since falling to Meeker. The Gore Rangers also have a league loss to Paonia so they may need a win to stay in contention for a top three finish.
Dawson at Highland (Thursday)
It’s a good test for Dawson and they need a win to keep pace with Denver Christian and Union Colony Prep. All three teams are unbeaten in the conference but Highland will be a tough out as the Huskies are in fourth and just one game back. They lost to Union Colony Prep on September 17th but has won four straight since.
Rye at Fowler (Thursday)
Rocky Ford at Rye (Saturday)
Fowler’s unexpected loss at Swallows Charter Academy last week made the Santa Fe chase a bit more interesting. The result dropped the Grizzlies back into a tie with Swink and Rocky Ford as all three have one league loss. Rye is also back in the chase with their 6-2 conference record and wins in both matches this week puts them in a stronger position. It’s the second meeting between Fowler and Rye as the Grizzlies took the opener in four. Tannice Wetzel and Kaley Pieper each had 11 kills. Avery Bouldin added 25 digs and Jayden Osborne dished out 29 assists. Rye had just 23 kills with Havilah Pitzer topping the list at seven. Rocky Ford’s league loss is to Swink (3-1) and is coming off a league win over Las Animas (3-0).
Swink Tournament (Saturday)
A good bracket for a one day event hosted by the Lions. Sangre De Cristo comes over from the San Luis Valley and will use the tournament to get ready for a late season showdown with top ranked La Veta. Springfield is another 1a team that is on hand and playing good volleyball. La Junta is also scheduled to be in the bracket.