Each week that goes by in the volleyball season brings fans more important matchups as the top clubs continue to square off.  Here in week three, there’s a one versus two battle in Class 5A and another one versus three league showdown in Class 1A.  That’s where our preview for the week gets started but we also look at several top 10 pairings and tease a major tournament coming up this weekend.



Two Top Three Matchups on Tap

A pair of number one teams face major challenges this week as Grandview (5A) meets #2 Chaparral on Tuesday and Fleming (1A) has a critical league affair with #3 Briggsdale on Thursday.

Chaparral is 2-0 and has not dropped a set in beating Cherokee Trail and Chatfield to open the season.  Katie Dalton is the leader for the Wolverines as she tops the club with 22 kills and 20 digs.  Fellow senior Macy Buso directs the offense and has 48 assists through the first six sets of the season.

Grandview has played just once this year; downing Ponderosa 3-0 last Thursday.  Junior Haley Glunz (15) and sophomore Emerson Deferme (13) combined for 28 kills.  Deferme added two blocks and 10 digs.

The Fleming-Briggsdale Thursday clash is the first of two conference meetings inside the North Central and the two should determine the top two spots in the standings.  League champions earn automatic playoff berths so Thursday’s winner gets a leg up in that effort.  Fleming is 4-0 including a 3-0 league sweep of Weldon Valley last Thursday.  Kally Kirkwood was the Player of the Week for MaxPreps and has already registered 77 kills on the season.

Briggsdale (4-1) has a lone loss to #2 Sedgwick County (2A) but also has a win over Haxtun (3-2) on their resume.  Last week, they opened league play by sweeping Prairie 3-0.  Kylie Krise (66) and Courtney Krise (49) are an effective 1-2 punch at the net.

Rugged Lower Platte League Schedule Gets Started

With five league members ranked in either Class 2A or 1A this week, there will be several high level conference battles in the Lower Platte.  First up is this Wednesday between Sedgwick County and Yuma as they enter the contest ranked second and seventh in Class 2A.

The Cougars (4-0) opened with strong wins over 1A ranked opponents Briggsdale and Haxtun and followed up with sweeps of South Platte NE and Burlington last week.  They feature strong balance on offense with four players already recording at least 28 kills.  Gabrielle Powell (60) leads the list followed by Alison Woodhams (34), Kierra Ehnes (31) and Jensen Renquist (28).  Defense also has tremendous depth as six players have at least 35 kills to this point of the year.  Freshman Abigail Dille (50) sits atop that group.

Yuma (2-1) has not seen the court since beating Akron (3-2) to close out the Kit Carson Tournament on August 21st.  Elle Roth is first in kills (50) and second in digs (49) for the Indians.  Lea Richardson tops the Indians in assists (95) and Emma Rayl in digs (60).

Windsor and Lutheran Finally Get Involved for 2021

Lutheran is ranked fifth in Class 3A and Windsor is up to number three in Class 4A but neither program has played a match this season.  That changes in week three where the Wizards open with Rocky Mountain on Wednesday and the Lions head to a tournament in Florida on Friday and Saturday.

Windsor (12-5) reached the state semifinals last year where they fell to  Mead in five sets.  But they will feature almost a completely new lineup in 2021.  Julia Bohlinger was third in kills (119) and diggs (205) as a freshman but is the lone returnee among the top four on the list in both categories a year ago.

Lutheran (11-4) lost to Sterling in the 3A state quarterfinals last year and will also need new faces to play major roles.  Audry Brgoch is the top returnee.  She led the Lions in kills (176) and was second in diggs (136).  Sophomore Katrina Deering (58 assists) may be the new setter.

Valor Christian & Kit Carson Both Face a Pair of Ranked Opponents

Valor Christian is ranked 6th in Class 5A and has two matches at home but both are against top 10 rivals.  It begins on Tuesday against #10 Castle View and concludes Thursday against #3 Cherry Creek.

Kit Carson is seventh in Class 1A and they face back-to-back road challenges against #10 Limon (2A) on Thursday and then #9 Genoa Hugo on Friday.

Facing ranked opponents is not new for the Wildcats as they’ve already faced three this year in Yuma, Wiggins and Simla.  They’re 1-2 in those matches as they fell to the 2A Indians and Tigers but scored a four-set win over Simla.  All three matches were at their own tournament on August 21st.  Since then, KC has swept Burlington and Cotopaxi.

Junior Katie Waggoner has 50 kills, 20 aces and 69 digs to lead the Wildcats in all three categories.  Stephanie Framel is second in kills with 27, Torrie Randel is next with 12 aces and also leads the club with 69 assists.  Payge Booker-Rady has added 49 digs.

Valor Christian has played just one match; but it went five against Legend last Thursday.  The Eagles rallied for the win; taking game four 25-18 and game five 15-10.  Erin McNair had 15 kills and Skya Morgan 14.  Valor also had 10 aces including four from Delaney Russell.  Chloe Elarton (21) and Stevie Vigil (17) each saw time at setter and combined for 38 assists.

Thompson Valley Continues Rugged Slate

After dropping just two sets in beating Loveland, Eaton, Valley and Silver Creek through the first two weeks, Thompson Valley has climbed to fourth in the Class 4A rankings.  They continue a rugged early slate this week by facing Resurrection Christian on Tuesday and Fossil Ridge on Thursday.  Resurrection Christian is ranked sixth in Class 3A and Tuesday’s game will be their first of the season.  Fossil Ridge is 3-2 on the season with setbacks coming to University (3A) and Holy Family (4A) who are both ranked again this week.

Seven Thompson Valley players have at least 11 kills.  Two freshman, Tatum Sharp and Avery Gibbs, are first and second with a combined 66 kills.  A third freshman, Ashlyn Tafoya, is the top setter with 121 assists through the first 14 sets this year.

Meeker to get Tested Twice in week Three

The 3rd ranked Cowboys (2A) did not play in week one but then scored victories over Coal Ridge, Dolores and Telluride over a two-day stretch last week.  The schedule picks up pace this week with matches against Delta on Thursday and Limon on Friday.

Emma Luce remains the number one option for the Meeker offense.  She has 48 kills with the team recording 72 overall through three matches.  Tatum Kennedy has all 71 assists for the team as well.  Luce tops the defense with 32 digs followed by Aspen Merrifield (24) and Sarah Kracht (22).

Delta (2-1) is a solid 3A club that has yet to break into the statewide rankings,  Their lone blemish is against 4A Montrose with wins coming over Grand Junction and Cedaredge.  Ellie Ames is tied for the team lead in kills (23) and tops the Panthers with 34 digs.  Raelee McCurdy also has 23 kills with Katie Porter second in digs with 30.  Senior Jillian Carlson has 63 of the clubs’ 75 assists.

Limon is ranked 10th in Class 2A and will be coming off a tough match with Kit Carson the night before.  The Badgers enter the week 1-0 and also play Deer Trail on Tuesday.

Other Notes

  • Wiley meets Sangre De Cristo in attractive 1A Top 10 match.  Both have played Cheraw this year with the Panthers scoring a win and the T-Birds suffering a loss.
  • Hoehne is up to number four in Class 2A and moves up a class to meet Alamosa on Tuesday.  The Moose were a preseason top 10 club but have been upended by Pueblo County and Pagosa Springs to open the season.
  • Faith Christian (10th in 3A) has a tough opener as they collide with Liberty Common on Tuesday.  Liberty Common was a top 10 club last week but somehow fell out this week despite an impressive 3-0 start that includes wins over Berthoud, Eagle Ridge Academy & St Mary’s.
  • We’ll have more on this later in the week, but Dove Creek takes on three larger schools on Saturday as they face Dolores (2A), Gunnison (3A) and Olathe (3A).  The Bulldogs were unranked through the first two weeks but zoomed to fifth in 1A this week after sweeping Monticello UT and Mancos.
  • We’ll preview more in-depth later this week but a whopping 36 teams converge on the Chaparral Classic on Friday & Saturday.  Ranked teams joining the Wolverines include Grandview, Holy Family, Thomas Jefferson, Castle View and Highlands Ranch,


Tournaments:  If your school is hosting or competing in a volleyball tournament this weekend, please send us the schedule/brackets so we can include in our end of the week column as we look ahead to action on Friday and Saturday a bit more in-depth.