By our count there are at least five matches on the big school slate that could determine league championships at seasons end plus a couple more that will give us a strong indication of which clubs could end up on top. We look at all the contests and more as we list the top volleyball matches for Classes 3A, 4A and 5A.
Colorado Springs Christian at St Mary’s (Tuesday)
This matchup features four of the top teams in the Tri Peaks race as CS Christian is unbeaten and shares the conference lead with Lamar while the Pirates have one league loss and sit tied for third with Buena Vista. St Mary’s has already lost to Lamar so a loss here knocks them from the title discussion but an upset gives them a very good chance to finish in the top three. The Pirates also have the edge on Buena Vista since they beat the Demons in five sets plus BV has yet to play either Lamar or CSCS.
Eaton at University (Wednesday)
The Reds and Bulldogs are two of the four remaining unbeaten teams in the Patriot and begin the week tied with Sterling and Platte Valley in first. It’s the only head to head meeting involving the league leaders on tap this week. Eaton is 10-3 overall but they’re unbeaten against 3A competition with wins over Lamar, Buena Vista, Faith Christian, Resurrection Christian, Frontier Academy, Strasburg and Brush. University is coming off a big win over Valley (3-2) last week that kept them in the top spot.
Eagle Ridge Academy at DSST-Green Valley (Wednesday)
This one likely determines the Confluence league champion as both teams are unbeaten in league play thus far (2-0). Eagle Ridge Academy is in position to host a regional tournament as they’re sixth in RPI this week. DSST-Green Valley is only 59th and may need to win the league title to earn a bid.
Buena Vista at Lamar (Saturday)
This is the second top four match inside the Tri Peaks on the schedule. As mentioned, the Savages open the week sharing the top spot with CS Christian while Buena Vista was tied with St Mary’s in third. The scenario for this one could change based on the CSCS-St Mary’s outcome from earlier in the week. If St Mary’s wins that one, then Lamar takes over the outright lead with a win here or Buena Vista can create a four way tie in first place. If CSCS gets the win, then Lamar must grab the victory to keep pace and Buena Vista needs a win to stay one game off the pace.
Bayfield at Centauri (Saturday)
It’s the second meeting in eight days for the rivals as Centauri collected a four set win over the Wolverines last Saturday. The win pushed the Falcons into second place as they remain one game back of Alamosa in the Intermountain race. They challenge the Moose again on October 15th so they need a win here to make that match important. Bayfield is in third and must avenge the earlier loss to Centauri to have any chance at the conference crown.
Valley at Colorado Springs Christian (Saturday)
It’s the best non-conference schedule on the match as it features teams that routinely contend for a state championship. It’s the continuance of a crucial closing stretch for the Vikings who also have Eaton, Platte Valley and Sterling remaining on the schedule. Colorado Springs Christian suffered their first loss of the season to 5A rival Chatfield as part of the Rampart tournament last week.
Lewis Palmer at Air Academy (Tuesday)
Palmer Ridge at Cheyenne Mountain (Thursday)
All four teams involved won conference openers inside the Pikes Peak conference so winners here could stand alone atop the standings by weeks end. Cheyenne Mountain also meets 2nd ranked Discovery Canyon on Tuesday so the Indians may not be unbeaten in league play when they line up against Palmer Ridge two nights later. Discovery Canyon was the number one team in 4A for the previous two weeks but dropped their conference opener in five sets to Palmer Ridge. The Thunder also lost to Coronado in non-league play last week.
Pueblo County at Pueblo West (Tuesday)
Newly minted #1 Pueblo County has little time to celebrate a milestone within their program as they lineup against #4 Pueblo West. It’s the first of two league meetings for the state powers and results will determine if one club wins the South Central championship or if the two will share the top trophy. Both are 4-0 in league play and have already built a two game lead on third place Pueblo South. County has not dropped a set in league play while West gave up one to Pueblo East.
Englewood at Skyview (Tuesday)
Both teams are 6-0 in the Colorado 7 so the winner takes over sole possession of first. Skyview is also unbeaten for the season (15-0) but has not faced any opponent that’s been in the top 10 this year. Englewood has won nine straight following early losses to St Mary’s Academy and Stargate. Their best win may be against 3A La Junta which came in the Jefferson Academy tournament.
Woodland Park at Canon City (Thursday)
It’s a very early match in the Colorado Springs Metro but it could end up serving as the conference championship match. Woodland Park is ranked again this week and showed up well in a five-set loss to Discovery Canyon so they’re one of the favorites to win the league crown. Canon City (7-5) is the only other league member above five hundred for the season. Classical Academy (6-7) is also a challenger here.
Evergreen at Golden (Thursday)
The Cougars lost a share of first place in a five set loss to D’Evelyn last week and now need to beat Golden a second time to hold onto second. Evergreen leads the Demons by one game in the league standings and the difference came back on September 19th when the Cougars scored a 3-0 win in the first meeting.
Frederick at Holy Family (Thursday)
This involves league positioning behind Windsor in the Tri Valley as both teams have a single league loss and are tied for second with Erie. Frederick has dropped a game to Erie so another loss puts them in difficult shape for the league title. The same can be said for Holy Family after the Tigers lost to Skyline last week.
Battle Mountain at Palisade (Friday)
Palisade looks to regroup following a crucial conference loss to Glenwood Springs last week. The two clubs were tied for the Western Slope lead but now Palisade needs a win to stay one game back of the Demons. They play a second time in Glenwood Springs on October 19th and the Bulldogs may need to win out to make that match important to the league title. Battle Mountain is in third place following losses to Palisade (3-1) and Glenwood Springs (3-0) in early December.
Columbine at Valor Christian (Monday)
Eagles started Jeffco action with impressive sweeps of traditional league title contenders Chatfield and Lakewood last week and now they look to gain some separation from the Rebels. Columbine is one of three teams in second place one game back as they’re tied with Bear Creek and Chatfield. The Rebels already have a league loss to Bear Creek.
Fossil Ridge at Broomfield (Monday)
This is a battle of a new conference leader against a team that has been in charge of the Front Range league for the past five years. Broomfield is unbeaten in league play and leads Fort Collins and Horizon by one game in the chase. Fossil Ridge already has two marks in the loss column but represents another hurdle the Eagles must get by to land the crown. Broomfield beat Fort Collins last week and will play Horizon on the 22nd.
Arapahoe at Cherokee Trail (Monday)
Grandview at Eaglecrest (Monday)
Several scenarios inside the Centennial become possible with these two matchups. Cherokee Trail is the new number one team in Class 5A this week and shares the conference lead with Grandview. If both win tonight, they’re set to battle for the conference championship on Friday. Arapahoe and Eaglecrest have one league loss apiece and wins by those two create a wild four-team lead for the top spot entering the final two rounds of conference play this week and next.
Legend at Chaparral (Tuesday)
A huge match here with plenty on the line. Both teams are 12-2 on the season with identical 5-0 starts within the rugged Continental. The winner lands the outright conference and may gain a slight edge in post-season bracketing. Legend is #1 in RPI to start the week with Chaparral #4. It’s also the second meeting of the season as Legend edged the Wolverines 3-2 at the Regis Jam in early September. Rylie Kadel had 14 kills and Chandler Fleming 11 for Legend who also received 39 assists and 13 digs from Peyton Dunn. Chaparral got a strong effort from Katie Dalton who recorded 12 kills, 14 digs and 27 assists.
Cherokee Trail at Grandview (Friday)
Each club enters the week 4-0 in the Centennial with three conference matches remaining. As mentioned, this game sets up as the conference championship tilt if both teams get by strong challenges earlier in the week. Cherokee Trail is also second in RPI and battling Legend for the top overall playoff seed. Grandview is 11th in RPI and could use a high quality win to secure the right to host a regional tournament.