The state qualifiers are in, the brackets are set, now all that’s left is to see how it all plays out. For the second year in a row, the San Luis Valley will be represented in state volleyball play by Alamosa, Del Norte and Sangre de Cristo. The tournament will be held at the Denver Coliseum, general admission is $12, Students and Senior Citizens get in for $10. According to the CHSAA Volleyball Bulletin, parking fees are $10+.
5 p.m. Thursday
3A – 3. Alamosa vs.
11. DSST: Montview
/ 6.Eagle Ridge
Having cleared the regional round Alamosa is primed and ready for state. Still carrying their third overall seed Alamosa will be one of four teams at the tournament with a first-round bye. Meaning the Moose will await the winner of match three, between 6. Eagle Ridge and 11. DSST: Montview. Montview (20-5) is the pride of the Frontier 3A/2A league this year.
As a league champion, the Knights hosted their tri and earned two 3-1 wins to advance to state. Montview is slated as the underdog to Eagle Ridge Academy by seeding order but history is also on Eagle Ridge’s side. The Knights and Warriors have faced one another earlier in the season. On Sept. 14, Eagle Ridge (23-2) came away with a hard-fought 3-2 win.
In the Confluence 3A/2A league, Eagle Ridge stayed untested and picked up a perfect 9-0 league record. While both squads have impressive records, they also both share a loss that is of particular interest to Mean Moose fans.
Both the Knights and Warriors suffered a loss to St. Mary’s Academy. The Wildcats edged Montview in a 3-2 contest but took a sound 3-0 win from Eagle Ridge Academy. That is the very same St. Mary’s Academy that Alamosa defeated 3-1 on Saturday to take the regional title and advance to state.
12:30 p.m. Thursday
2A – 7. West Grande vs.
10. Del Norte
Del Norte cleared the regional round intact, overcoming a three-way tie to earn their way to Denver. Now with Thursday on the horizon, the Tigers (21-6) will take on West Grand in their first action.
West Grand (21-4) is ranked just above the Tigers by RPI. From the 2A/1A Western Slope League, the Mustangs finished second behind Meeker (23-2). Not only did both teams host their regional triangulars but both also advanced to state. West Grand cleared Ignacio and Highland at regionals to claim their state berth.
West Grand has also gotten a taste of the Southern Peaks league via a 3-1 win over Sanford on Sept. 6th.
The primary concern for Del Norte will be Emma DeSanti. DeSanti leads the Mustang in kills with 230. On defense, West Grand’s Mikayla Shearer will be a an obstacle as she leads the team with 102 blocks.
The winner of Del Norte and West Grand will move on to face No. 2 Limon in the second round of the winner’s bracket at 6:30 p.m.
8 a.m. Thursday
1A – 8. Springfield vs.
9. Sangre de Cristo
A solid weekend of regional play for Sangre de Cristo (19-6) saw the Thunderbirds go 6-0 over two matches. Match counts don’t tell the story of how tight competition can be. Cotopaxi battled Sangre de Cristo in every single set with the largest margin of any one set being 4 points. One of the sets between the league rivals even went beyond the 25-match point.
Now the T-Birds will meet Springfield in the first round. Springfield (16-6) and Sangre de Cristo are ranked 8th and 9th respectively and the match between them promises to be a close one.
Playing out of the Arkansas Valley League (AVL) Springfield went 4-0 in league games. Also in the AVL was fellow state qualifier, South Baca. The two split the season series 1-1 with Springfield taking the league designated match and South Baca taking the District Championship. On the road, Springfield would go 1-1 at their regional triangular but still qualify for state finals.
On offense, the Longhorns are boosted by seniors Julia Mondragon and Lexi Crane who combine for 368 kills. Mondragon is also a strong defensive contributor as she leads the team with 89 blocks.
The winner of Springfield-Sangre de Cristo will be in for some pretty stiff competition facing top-ranked Merino at 2 p.m.