Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds prepare for State

The Sangre de Cristo volleyball team’s before their 7th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness 5K was held on August 19. The girls will travel to the Denver Colosseum to face Wiley and La Veta in state tournament play. (Courier file photo)

ALAMOSA— The state volleyball tournaments begin this weekend for all classes. In 1A Sangre de Cristo will face La Veta and Wiley for their opportunity to enter bracket play.

The Thunderbirds are no stranger to post season play making to at least regionals each of the last five years. As a matter of fact in the 2015 season Sangre de Cristo made it all the way to the semi finals bracket at state before falling to the eventual state champion Otis High School. Last year the Thunderbirds were ousted by La Veta and North Park, going 0-2 in regionals.

This year Sangre de Cristo struggled to start the season with two losses but began firing on all cylinders earning a 18-6 record ensnaring the second place finish in Region A.

In the regional round Sangre de Cristo traded places with De Beque, going on the road to sample Region E’s talent. The Thunderbirds punched their ticket to state with strong victories over both Dove Creek and Nucla.  With the top 8 pool winners automatically advancing they awaited they wildcard announcement to see who would be added back to the bracket.

At state Sangre de Cristo will need to defeat wildcard Wiley, and has an opportunity to get some revenge against La Veta by repaying them with a trip home.

Wiley plays in District 3, which is based in the southeastern corner of Colorado. The Panthers went 17-5 through the regular season but when it came to the post season they were pooled with number one seed Kit Carson. The Panthers closed their pool play 1-1 and after waiting until Monday were rewarded with a wildcard berth to state.

The second team in Sangre de Cristo’s state pool is a familiar foe in La Veta. La Veta also resides in District 6 with Sangre de Cristo and the two teams have met twice in the regular season, both three set affairs that ended in La Veta’s favor. La Veta swept the season going 24-0 and are going to state for the fourth time in as many years.

While they have a knack for making it to state pool play La Veta has yet to find their way to the state finals. Sangre de Cristo will get a litmus test right away with their first game coming against La Veta on Friday and will wrap up state pool play against Wiley on Saturday.

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