Go north, young ladies
Editor’s note: Fear not, Saints fans. The Vail Daily will have a complete preview of Vail Christian’s first appearance in the 1A state tournament in Thursday’s Vail Daily.By Chris FreudDaily Sports EditorEAGLE-VAIL – Forgive Battle Mountain volleyball if it believes that it is going to a Northern League postseason tournament Friday and Saturday, instead of 4A state tournament at the Denver Coliseum.The Huskies (25-1) are the No. 4 seed, and in Pool I with No. 1 Sterling (25-1), No. 5 Greeley West (23-3) and No. 8 Longmont (18-8), all from the Northern League. Throw in No. 3 Mountain View (23-2) and No. 7 Skyline (20-6) from the other side of the bracket, and five of the eight teams in the 4A tourney call the Northern League home.”Put 10 (teams) into districts, I would expect to get a few out of there,” Huskies coach Brian Doyon joked about the 15-team league.The Huskies hope to crash the Northern League party and the way they’ve been playing in 2006, it’s not an unreasonable expectation. Battle Mountain cruised through the 4A Slope with a 14-0 mark, and swept districts and regionals. The Huskies have not lost a game to a 4A opponent and the only blemish on their record is a 3-1 loss to 5A Doherty.But as Doyon said after his team won regionals, “That’s not the trophy I want.” The Huskies seem to have had their sites set on the brass ring since they were eliminated by eventual champion Sterling last year at the Coliseum. They’ll get their chance. The Huskies open Pool I with Greeley West on Friday at 8 a.m., followed by Longmont at roughly 2 p.m. Saturday, it’s rematch time with Sterling at about 11 a.m.If the Huskies finish in the top half of the four-team pool, they’ll advance to the semifinals at either 2:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. with the finals set for Saturday night at 7.Greeley West
Notable results: W, at Broomfield (3-0); W, at Longmont (3-1); L, at Sterling (3-2); W, at Fort Morgan (3-1); Two losses vs. Mountain View (3-2 and 3-0).The Huskies open their quest bright and early against Greeley West with the first match of the 4A tourney. The two teams met last season in what amounted the Region D title game with the host Spartans winning.The two teams have one thing in common – a Brown does the setting. For the Spartans, Krysta Brown and Lizzie Cole split those duties. They feed primarily Audray Hemmings, Jenna Kitchell and Lauren Dusin.The key for this one is who’s ready to come out of the gate Friday morning.”It’s going to be more on who can come out and control their emotions and get right into their game plan and focus,” Doyon said. “That’s sort of the preparation we’re going through. Greeley West is a great team, a very scrappy team. It’s just more of a matter of who comes out.”LongmontNotable results: L, at Mountain View (3-0); L, Greeley West (3-1); L at Sterling (3-0); W, Broomfield (3-1) two losses vs. Skyline (3-1); W, at Fort Morgan (3-0); L, Cheyenne Mountain (3-0); W, Palisade (3-0).Welcome to the Northern League where a 9-5 record puts you in a tie for fifth place. The Trojans’ record is the weakest in the field, but six of their eight losses are to teams in the state field.Look for Lauren Janich to lead the Longmont offense with 554 attacks and 172 kills to her credit. Nikki Stetson and Lauren Asbury get it going as setters.”A good team,” Doyon said. “They’ve got some decent attackers. It’s going to be similar. Hopefully, we’ll be able to spread the court and play our game. It’s the exact thing we do every game. Don’t change your bread and butter.”SterlingNotable results: W, Broomfield (3-0); W, Greeley West (3-2); W, Palisade (3-0); W Longmont (3-0); two wins vs. Skyline (3-0); two wins vs. Fort Morgan (3-0); W, at Mountain View (3-1); L, at Colorado Springs Christian (3-0); W, Moffat County (3-0).The defending champs’ only loss is to Colorado Springs Christian, the No. 1-ranked team in 3A. If the bracket breaks according to form, the Mustangs and Huskies meet Saturday morning at 2-0, having salted away semifinal berths. The Huskies do not want to go into this game needed a win to advance.
The two teams met in last year’s semifinals with the Tigers winning, 22-25, 25-15, 26-24, 25-22. Battle Mountain was the only team to take a game from Sterling at last year’s tournament.Danielle Minch (675 attacks and 370 kills) lead a potent attack that includes Kirsten Schumacher and Kirsten Nickel. Haley Beardsley has 785 assists.”I’ll throw the kitchen sink and few other things at them. Let the cards fall where they may,” Doyon said. “If those things happen, we’ll go play in the crossover and I’d rather play a lower seed. All roads for the state title have to go through Sterling and Mountain View. It’s more on how we’re prepared.”Extra hitsPool II is Cheyenne Mountain, Mountain View, Pueblo West and Skyline. CHSAA likely moved Pueblo West, Battle Mountain’s strongest competition at Region D last weekend down from No. 5 to No. 6 to avoid playing the Huskies twice in a week. … The Huskies started last year’s state tournament 0-2 with losses to Mountain View and Cheyenne Mountain. Battle Mountain is less likely to have a slow start this year, having experienced the carnival experience of the Coliseum. “Last year, we came in there overwhelmed,” Battle Mountain’s Devon Abbott said. “It was the first time we’d been there. We had no idea. The first day we lost. I think it was partially because we were so overwhelmed. Now we’re prepared and knowing what it’s like, what we have to do, just go in there and do our business.” Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or .The 4A state tournamentDenver ColiseumPool I1. Sterling (25-1)4. Battle Mountain (25-1)
5. Greeley West (23-3)8. Longmont (18-8)Pool II2. Cheyenne Mountain (24-2)3. Mountain View (23-3)6. Pueblo West (25-1)7. Skyline (20-6)ScheduleFridayMatch 1 – Battle Mountain vs. Greeley West, 8 a.m.Match 2 – Mountain View vs. Pueblo WestMatch 3 – Sterling vs. LongmontMatch 4 – Cheyenne Mountain vs. Skyline
Match 5 – Battle Mountain vs. Longmont, approx. 2 p.m.Match 6 – Mountain View vs. SkylineMatch 7 – Sterling vs. Greeley WestMatch 8 – Cheyenne Mountain vs. Pueblo WestSaturdayMatch 1 – Greeley West vs. Longmont, 8 a.m.Match 2 – Pueblo West vs. Skyline, Match 3 – Battle Mountain vs. Sterling, approx. 11 a.m.Match 4 – Cheyenne Mountain vs. Mountain ViewMatch 5 – Semifinal – Pool I No. 1 vs. Pool II No. 2, approx. 2: 30 p.m.Match 6 – Semifinal – Pool II No. 1 vs. Pool 1 No. 2, approx. 4 p.m.Match 7 – FinalVail, Colorado