Devils volleyball on its way to Region C
GYPSUM – And now for a delightful sur-prise: Eagle Valley volleyball will not be play-ing Glenwood Springs or any other league opponent for what seems like the sixth time this season.
The Devils picked up the sixth seed in the Sweet 16 and are headed to Region C on Sat-urday in Johnstown to face No. 3 Roosevelt (22-1), No. 11 Greeley Central (16-7) and No. 14 Pueblo West (17-6).
“We’re playing new teams,” the Devils’ Shelby Wright said. “It’s going to be exciting to see new competition, not knowing what going to see before we get there.”
Though they would like to have snagged a host spot, the Devils are pretty happy with where they landed.
” You do always want to host, but you can’t complain too much,” Devils coach Shawn Weatherred said. “I’ve looked at assorted results, but we don’t know much. Ignorance is bliss sometimes.”
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The good news is that Roosevelt’s mascot is the Roughrider, so we’re talking Theodore, not Franklin, if that makes a difference.
Before the Devils concern themselves with top-seed Roosevelt, it’s important to get down to business in the opener at 9 a.m. against Greeley Central. Last year, Eagle Val-ley was admittedly a little wide-eyed in being at regionals. The Devils won the first game they played and promptly lost the next nine to go out 0-3.
“Last year, we had no more gas by the time we got to regionals,” Weatherred said. “We were lacking a little firepower come the regional level. I think we learned that we needed to rest mentally and physically. We’re going to regionals with the mentality that we’re good enough to play here.”
Or as Wright put it succinctly, “Last year we had a lot of nerves.”
Eagle Valley very much looked like it was in the right place mentally, going 4-0 at dis-tricts last week. An interesting note is that Rock Canyon, whom the Devils swept in three, is the No. 9 seed this weekend in Region A.
And here Weatherred inserts the impor-tant disclaimer that no one can be overlooked.
“It’s fun to play different people and test yourself against competition,” the coach said. “There are no easy outs, as they say, but the girls have played long enough to like the challenge.”
The conventional game plan in this type of tournament is to take care of business against the two lower-seeded teams and then, if everything breaks to form, face the top seed with a state berth already clinched. And yes, the Devils are thinking about the possibility of making state – no Eagle Valley team has done so since 2002 – as motivation.
“I think we are looking ahead to state as just a possibility,” Wright said. “It motivates us to go and leave it all out there.”