Coal Ridge High School’s volleyball team accomplished its preseason mission on Monday. Now the Titans have another goal to achieve.
They’ll have plenty of time to do that between now and Saturday. That’s when Coal Ridge (19-4) will serve as one of 12 regional tournament hosts in the Class 3A state playoffs.
“I sent a text to every one of our players, telling them how we accomplished our goal,” said Coal Ridge coach Scott Black, whose team set out to host a regional tournament at the beginning of the season. “Now we have some time to discuss what our next goal is, but I think that’s pretty obvious.”
Each of Garfield County’s five volleyball teams reached the regional round of their classification’s state tournament. Coal Ridge, however, is the only one that will stay home.
The Titans will host the Region 9 tournament on Saturday and will play host to No. 16-seed Faith Christian and No. 28-seeded Estes Park. Coal Ridge will host Estes Park at 2 p.m. Saturday, with a match between Faith Christian and Estes Park following at 3:30 p.m. The Titans will then cap the round-robin tournament at 5 p.m. against Faith Christian.
The team that emerges unbeaten in the tournament will move on to the Class 3A State Championships, which will be played at the Denver Coliseum on Nov. 8 and 9. Each classification — 1A through 5A — plays its state tournament there.
Other area 3A teams that made it were Grand Valley, the No. 34 seed in the 36-team tournament, which will play at No. 3 Manitou Springs. Rifle is seeded 30th and will play at No. 7 University in Greeley, and No. 27-seeded Roaring Fork will play at No. 10 Machebeuf for the Rams’ regional tournament.
Reaching the regional round of the Class 4A state tournament was Glenwood Springs, which, the way coach Sarah Gray put it, “landed right in the middle” of the 32-team state bracket. By that virtue, the Demons will be seeded No. 24 and will play at top-seeded Lewis Palmer just north of Colorado Springs on Saturday.
Lewis Palmer will play 36th-seeded Pueblo County at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the Demons will follow with matches against both Lewis Palmer and Pueblo County at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. It’ll give Glenwood the advantage of watching the opponents the team hasn’t faced this year just prior to playing them.
“That is kinda nice,” Gray said. “If we need to make any kind of adjustments, this gives us the opportunity to do that.”