Tournament time for spikers
There will be six teams and there will be nine matches, but only one champion after Friday’s and Saturday’s 4A Volleyball District 5 Tournament at Cheyenne Mountain High School.The six teams will be divided into two pools. The winner of Pool I faces the No. 2 team from Pool II and the top finisher in Pool II will face the runner up in Pool I. The winners of those matches qualify for Regionals and play for the championship title and regional seeding on Saturday. “We expect to do well in districts,” Glenwood Springs head coach Scott Nykerk said. “We expect to be in that championship game.”The Demons finished the regular season with a 13-1 Western Slope League record and 18-1 overall, earning a No. 5 ranking in the final regular-season Class 4A volleyball Rocky Preps state poll.Glenwood Springs, which received the No. 2 seed in the tournament, was placed in Pool II along with No. 3 Berthoud and No. 5 Sand Creek. Pool I consists of No. 1 Cheyenne Mountain, No. 4 Pueblo County and No. 6 Delta.Battle Mountain also finished with a 13-1 WSL record, but grabbed the No. 1 seed and the opportunity to host the District 8 playoffs because they beat the Demons 5-4 in head-to-head play.
Cheyenne Mountain, which is ranked sixth in Class 4A in Colorado and went 10-0 in the Colorado Springs Metro League and 17-2 overall, will be Glenwood Springs’ toughest competition.”We have seen them (Cheyenne Mountain) the past two years at Regionals and at state and we know they are a strong team,” Nykerk said.Seniors Leah Hinkey and Leanna Lawson – ranked No. 2 and No. 12, respectively, in kills in Class 4A – lead the Demons. Hinkey has 278 kills this season and averages 4.8 per game. Lawson has 204 kills and is averaging 3.3 per game. “Most of our offense runs through them (Hinkey and Lawson),” Nykerk said. “Our offense depends on them, but it is just as important for our back row to play well and set them up.” Sand Creek (6-4 C.S. Metro, 10-7 overall) will be the Demons’ first opponents at 3 p.m. today.Glenwood Springs will then go against Berthoud, (6-13) at 6 p.m.Play resumes at 9 a.m. on Saturday when the top-two finishers in each pool will face off. The championship game will be at noon.
Roaring Fork looks to qualify for Class 3A RegionalsThe same tournament format will be in place for the 3A Western Slope League District 2 Volleyball Tournament on Saturday at Central High School in Grand Junction. Roaring Fork is in Pool B, where it will be matched up against Aspen and Basalt. Hotchkiss, Gunnison and Cedaredge, which beat Olathe in a pigtail game on Tuesday for its first win of the season, make up Pool A.”I think it is going to be fine,” said Roaring Fork head coach Karen Crownhart of her team’s seeding in the tournament. “We didn’t get Hotchkiss, so that is good.”Hotchkiss, which won the WSL regular-season title and is ranked No. 7 in Class 3A in Colorado, is already guaranteed a spot at Regionals. If the Bulldogs win the District 2 tournament, the No. 2 team will also go to Regionals. If Hotchkiss does not win the championship, the winner of the championship game will accompany the Bulldogs at Regionals.
Spikers: see page A18Roaring Fork (8-4 WSL, 14-6 overall) will take the court against Aspen in its first match at 10:30 a.m. The two teams split matches during the regular season, with the Rams winning 3-2 on Sept. 30 and falling 3-2 on Oct. 11.”I expect a good defensive team from Aspen,” Crownhart said. “We are just trying to work on our offense and trying to improve that and prevent long rallies.”The Rams then play Basalt at noon. In two previous meetings this season, the Rams lost to the Longhorns 3-0 on Sept. 17, but evened the series on Sept. 22 when they won 3-2.”There are a couple of things we are working on for Basalt. I think we can get them,” Crownhart said.The Rams will have to win three matches to qualify for regionals, but Crownhart believes they are up to the task.”I think if we come out of our pool in first and get the No. 2 seed from the other pool, which will probably be Gunnison, I think we can get them,” Crownhart said. “I think if we win our pool, we have got a good chance.””I think if we come out of our pool in first and get the No. 2 seed from the other pool, which will probably be Gunnison, I think we can get them,” Crownhart said. “I think if we win our pool, we have got a good chance.”
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It was a close game, but after some thrilling back-and-forth plays the Rifle Bears were able to pull off the 28-20 victory over The Academy on May 1.