DENVER – With three teams in the volleyball state tournaments from the San Luis Valley, there was plenty of action still to play out in day two at the Denver Coliseum.
3A - Alamosa (26-1)
On Thursday the Mean Moose battled their way back from a 0-2 match deficit against Resurrection Christian. They cut it close trailing 21-20 in the third set before going on a five-point rally to close the third and make it a 2-1 set count. The Moose then rumbled for the next two set wins to get out of Thursday unscathed.
In day two the game was between Alamosa and Colorado Springs Christian. If Alamosa was still settling in when it came time for Thursday’s game, they looked to still be shaking out the cobwebs come Friday. Early in their game with the CS Christian Cougars Alamosa got stuck watching the ball drop twice making up a couple campfires. After a struggle for control through the midway point of the game it was Alamosa who would come away with a late lead 23-22. A Terese Chavez kill pushed the lead to 24-22 before the Moose took the first set 25-22.
In the second frame a small lead for the Moose was swallowed up when the two teams were once again embroiled in a back-and forth. On the other end it was the Cougars who claimed a 16-13 lead. From there Colorado Springs pushed their advantage all the way to a 25-20 conclusion to even the count at one set apiece.
Things started coldly in the third set for Alamosa who watched the Cougars build a 5-1 lead. Coach Annie Rice had seen enough and decided to use a time out to rein Alamosa in. It worked. Chavez added a kill and Taylor Motz complemented that with a block to cut the lead to 2. But Colorado Springs Christian would keep hammering away at the Moose and rebuilt their lead to 10-5 lead. Alamosa had a hard time closing the distance and was paced to a 14-11 deficit. From there they watched the Cougars go on a five-point rally. The 8-point gap was too much for Alamosa to cover and the Cougars took a 2-1 set lead.
Alamosa seemed to solve their mental errors in the fourth set. Despite keeping things close all the way to the finish, Alamosa could not force a fifth set. The 3-1 match marks the Moose’s first loss of the season. Alamosa will get a chance to redeem themselves bright and early on Saturday with the opening 3A match against No.1 Lutheran at 8 a.m.
2A – Del Norte (24-4)
Thursday afternoon Del Norte pulled No. 11 Byers. Del Norte battled the Bulldogs all the way through five sets to claim victory, Later that same day Del Norte met the third seeded Meeker Cowboys. Again the Tigers were locked into a five set war. This time however they couldn’t outlast Meeker and entered Friday with a 1-1 tournament record.
Already with one loss Del Norte didn’t do themselves any favors in their afternoon match with Limon. Del Norte spotted the Badgers a 2- set lead. With their back against the wall Del Norte struck back. The third set was characteristically tight. Del Norte was the first to take a meaningful lead going up 21-19. That lead was later stoked by Lacie Jones who re-fed a rebound off a serve to put the Tigers up 23-19. Del Norte would take the third set 25-21.
Del Norte got rocking and rolling in the fourth set. A no-look dump from Myka Glover gave the Tigers a 19-15 lead and they would score 6 to the Badger’s 1 to earn a 25-16 win and force their third five set match of the weekend. In set number five the Tigers reasserted themselves and opened with a convincing 8-2 lead. Limon would chase the Tigers down to tie the game at 10 apiece. The Badgers left Del Norte at 10 as they finished the match with a five-point rally to earn the fifth set, 15-10 and eliminate Del Norte.
1A Sangre de Cristo (18-10)
Thursday got off to a rough start for the Thunderbirds, SDC pulled the fifth seeded Merino Rams. Sangre came out hot and looked poised for an upset registering a 25-20 win in set number one. But then the T-Birds cooled, and Merino took the next three sets to hand Sangre a loss.
With the night off to refocus Sangre responded. Friday afternoon against McClave the T-Birds got off on the right foot claiming a 7-4 lead. Later Jessica Slane got a big block to force a side out and claim a 22-18 lead. Sangre would pace the Cardinals to the 25-20 conclusion of the first.
The Thunderbirds kept their foot on the gas in the second set taking a 9-4 lead where MaKenzie Rogers logged back-to-back kills to make it a 11-4 lead. Sangre kept the fire alive to 25-19 giving them a two-set lead. McClave felt the urgency and pushed in set number three. While Merino was successful in making the game go beyond the 25-point mark Sangre still cemented set three to even up their playoff record at 1-1.
Friday night Sangre looked to keep their season alive and after falling behind 2 sets to Fleming they answered with two of their own. But Sangre just couldn’t keep up and the T-Birds were sunk in the fifth set making their second loss of the title competition.