Titans, Rams prepare for Class 3A WSL tournament this weekend
Records will be cast aside, previous matches won’t matter.In Class 3A volleyball, every team gets a shot at the postseason, regardless of regular season record.That will be the case this weekend at Grand Junction Central High School when the eight teams making up the Western Slope League will battle against one another in district tournament pool play with one regional spot on the line.
Each team will play three matches in pool play on Friday, then the top two teams from each pool will play again on Saturday until the district champion emerges.Regular season records do factor into the district seeing, with outright league champion Basalt (13-1) taking the top seed and earning an automatic spot at regionals. The other regional berth will go to the district champion, unless Basalt wins the tournament. In that case, the spot will go to the runner-up.In its first season in 3A play, Coal Ridge (2-12 overall) received the No. 7 seed, pitting them against No. 2 Gunnison (12-2) at 10:30 a.m., then No. 3 Aspen (10-4) at noon. The Titans will conclude pool play at 3 p.m. with a match against No. 6 Cedaredge (4-10).
Behind team leaders Chloe Nelson, Kelly Romero and Callie Schlegel, the Titans will be concentrating on their play and no one else’s according to head coach Denise Greene.”We are going to focus on playing well on our side of the net – passing, setting and hitting and serving hard solidly and consistently,” Greene said.As Greene’s seniorless squad gets more and more experience, she sees more and more improvement.
“We’ve had more success than last year,” she said. “We’ve had some rough matches, but we’ve been competitive in almost everyone.”Roaring Fork (2-12) will play as the eighth seed, first playing Basalt at 10:30 a.m., then No. 4 Hotchkiss (7-7) at noon before finishing with a match against No. 5 Olathe (6-8) at 3 p.m.Sharing the same 2-12 record, the Titans edged the Rams in the seedings by picking up both of their wins in league matches (one against Roaring Fork and one against Cedaredge). Roaring Fork’s victories came against Coal Ridge and nonconference rival Glenwood.The Rams will look to pull an upset with strong play from seniors Erica Pelland, who leads the team in kills, as well as Kali Chesnut and Taylor Wagner. Juniors Rebecca Roeber and Leslie French are also coming off impressive performances against Cedaredge on Saturday.
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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.