Local high schools set for volleyball state playoffs
With the regular season schedule and tournaments coming to a close this past weekend, the Coal Ridge Titans and Grand Valley Cardinals are all set to kick things off in the 3A state volleyball playoffs, while the Glenwood Springs Demons will hit the road for the 4A state playoffs this weekend.
The Titans, who wrapped up the regular season as the second-place team in the 3A Western Slope League with an overall record of 15-8 (8-1), enter the state playoffs as the No. 18 seed. Coal Ridge will have to hit the road for the regional tournament, which is a shake-up from last year in which the Titans hosted — and won — the regional tournament.
This season though, the Titans will head to No. 7 Faith Christian, which will host the regional tournament this year.
Along with the Titans and Eagles, No. 30 Denver Science & Tech Stapleton. The Knights finished 10-11 this season, while the Eagles finished the year 16-7 while winning the 3A Metro league in the process.
Coal Ridge will have a tough road ahead, but with an experienced team led by seniors Nicole Mooney, Dana Kotz and Kaitlyn Harlow, as well as standout juniors Cassie Greene, Santana Martinez, Paige Harlow and Emily Wright, the Titans should be able to go toe-to-toe with the Eagles.
The Titans will take on the Knights at 6 p.m. on Friday before squaring off with the Eagles at 8 p.m.
While Coal Ridge heads one way, the Grand Valley Cardinals will head in another direct as the Cardinals (14-9, 6-3) enter the 3A state playoffs as the No. 32 seed despite having a better record than teams above them, while also finishing third overall in the 3A WSL.
Grand Valley will play in a regional tournament with the No. 5 Bayfield Wolverines (20-3, 10-0 3A Intermountain) and the No. 20 Buena Vista Demons (12-10, 9-3 3A Tri-Peaks).
Fortunately for the Cardinals, they’re a very deep team as seniors Bailey Rowe, Kylyn Rigsby, Bryce Ettles, Tara Ruggles and Loghan McClung all have tons of experience at the varsity level, allowing them to match up with pretty much anyone.
However, Saturday’s matches at 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. will be significant tests for the Cardinals.
In 4A, the Demons (9-14, 4-8 4A WSL) — despite a tough close to the regular season — earned a playoff berth as the No. 29 seed. For their efforts, Glenwood will travel to the No. 8 Berthoud Spartans (18-5, 12-2), which finished second in the 4A Tri-Valley League this season. Along with Berthoud, the Demons will also match up against the No. 17 Mountain View Mountain Lions.
Mountain View finished the season (14-9, 9-5), placing third overall in the 4A Northern League.
Game times for Glenwood are scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.