Devils, Saints and VMS v-ball to host regionals
Saturday seems like a good day for volleyball
Heck yeah. It’s everywhere, people. Eagle County is no stranger to hosting a regional volleyball tournament, but can anyone remember three teams hosting in one day?
We can’t, but here we are. On Saturday, Eagle Valley hosts the Class 4A Region 4 Tournament at 10 a.m. Meanwhile, Vail Christian takes on Dolores and Del Norte, starting at 1 p.m. in Edwards with the Class 2A Region 6 Tournament. And, at the same time, Vail Mountain will be entertaining Telluride and Holyoke at the Class 2A Region 8 Tournament at 11 a.m.
Be there, or everywhere, or be square.
Format, attendance and timing
At Class 4A or 2A, each of these tourneys are round-robins. The team that goes 2-0 earns a state bid for May 12-13 at Colorado Springs’ Broadmoor World Arena — not the usual Denver Coliseum. In the event of a two-way or three-way tie after the round-robin, the teams play one-set playoffs.
Each of the three tournaments will start at their designated time and matches will roll one after another. CHSAA rules require a 20-minute break between matches and a 15-minute warmup period.
Traditionally, fans should allot 90 minutes per regional match, so if Eagle Valley and Golden are scheduled to start at 10 a.m., Golden vs. The Classical Academy should be about at 11:30 a.m. and Eagle Valley-TCA roughly at 1 p.m.
Regionals have a nasty habit of all three matches going just three sets and everything finishing early or all three matches go five and everyone’s there all day. Please be flexible when calculating times of contests.
If you attending any of these matches, masks remain required inside and in crowded areas like entry ways and foyers. Please continue social distancing in seating outside of one’s household group. You know the deal at this point.
Vail Christian has no seating restrictions for Saturday. Eagle Valley and Vail Mountain are only letting ticketed spectators in via their gate lists.
As promised, Eagle Valley volleyball, despite its bout with COVID quarantine, is back and properly seeded as hoped. Windsor, Cheyenne Mountain, Palisade and Eagle Valley are the top four seeds in Class 4A.
While Devils fans may think their team is better than Palisade — the teams split their two meetings with the Bulldogs winning the Slope crown on winning percentage — No. 4 is everything and more than Eagle Valley wanted.
Coach Mike Garvey said he was fine with Palisade winning the league crown. He was more concerned with the postseason draw.
“We didn’t get the Northern League or anyone from Colorado Springs Metro,” Garvey said.
That is coach-speak for we didn’t get Windsor or the teams they play or Cheyenne Mountan and their competition.
Now it’s simply a matter of holding serve on home court, which is easier said than done. Golden, the No. 21 seed and theoretically the “easy” game of the two, won the Jeffco. Two of its three losses are to 5A schools, Bear Creek and Dakota Ridge.
TCA is 12-1 and the Colorado Springs Metro North champion. Eagle Valley’s 5-0 at home this year and something’s gotta give.
“We feel pretty confident in our defensive and offensive systems and the way we train for any opponent,” Garvey said. “If an opponent has size, we hit around them. If they have big hitters, we’ve got our defensive system. It’s like the move, ’Miracle,’ ’Play your game.’ We will be showing that movie on Thursday night.”
As the Devils rightly learn Herb Brooks-isms, it’s worth noting that Eagle Valley will be at 100 percent at regionals for the first time since its brush with COVID-19.
First of all, welcome home, Vail Christian. The Saints have never hosted regionals before because as the program grew through the years in Classes 1A and 2A, CHSAA was still using neutral sites for districts (Olathe usually) and regionals (Moffat, not the high school in Craig, but the one in Saguache County, La Veta or DeBeque).
Second of all, welcome back, Vail Christian (9-0). The Saints got caught up in COVID and missed their last two regular-season games against Vail Mountain and Meeker, which, in retrospect, were rather big games.
The biggest challenge as the Saints return to the court Wednesday after 10 days off is finding their groove before Saturday.
“I can’t tell you how I’m going to do that,” Saints coach Adina Petersmeyer said, showing a true moment of candor in dealing with the virus. “We have some creative stuff ready for practice.”
With Dolores and Del Norte traveling in from far-flung places, the Region 6 tourney starts a bit later on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Why does home-court advantage mean so much? Yes, it’s nice to play in front of Mom and Dad. It’s nice to be in a familiar gym as athletes are creatures of habit.
It also nice for the Vail Mountain School volleyball not to be traveling to Telluride or Holyoke. We’re sure they’re lovely places, but Telluride is aprocryphal moniker for “To hell you ride,” and Holyoke might as well be in Nebraska. Huzzah, home-court.
As a No. 8 seed, VMS gets the toughest draw of any host school in regionals, which makes the Gore Rangers a candidate for an upset. On the other hand, VMS took No. 2 Meeker to five games earlier this season, losing the fifth set, 15-13. If you can play with Meeker, you can play with anyone in Class 2A.
“It gives the girls confidence going into these games,” VMS coach Paige Waymire said. “We’re going to be taking to them today about how we looked at the tape of Holyoke. Holyoke looks a lot like Meeker. They have two big girls they rely on, just like Meeker, and this will give them a good idea of what to expect.”