Vail Valley volleyball teams seek state berths
The quest for the Denver Coliseum begins
Welcome to geography class, aka postseason volleyball, where we learn about the Centennial State in all its majesty as we figure out where Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Vail Christian, and Vail Mountain are heading for their respective regional tournaments with the goal of qualifying for state.
The Devils, Gore Rangers, Huskies, and Saints qualified regionals by finishing in the top 36 in their classification in the rating-percentage index. The top 12 teams by RPI in 4A and 2A host two other teams from around the state in a round-robin on Saturday with the winner going to state.
Please don’t ask us what happens if all three teams end up with 1-1 records. It involves higher math.
While the next point about timing might be obvious for veteran volleyball fans, it’s worth noting. The only match with a set time is the first one. Regional matches roll one after the next with the general rule of thumb being 90 minutes per match. Your mileage may vary, however. Don’t stray far if there’s a sweep, or definitely grab lunch if the two other teams in the regional seem destined to go five.
The last time everyone made state was:
• Battle Mountain (2014)
• Eagle Valley (2016)
• Vail Christian (2013)
• Vail Mountain (2018)
Class 4A Region 9 Tournament at Discovery Canyon, 9:30 a.m.
Discovery Canyon has been discovered in Colorado Springs. The host Thunder is 16-7, and out of the 5A/4A Pikes Peak League, where the team tied for third with Air Academy and were behind Lewis-Palmer and Cheyenne Mountain, all traditional powers of 4A volleyball.
By seed, Discovery Canyon is No. 9, Battle Mountain (16-7) No. 16 and Mullen (10-13) 28th.
Don’t buy that seeding with Mullen. The 4A Mustangs traditionally play a 5A schedule, which hurts them in the RPI because the formula does not give a bonus for playing up, but makes them dangerous when the postseason brackets come out in all sports.
The Huskies will be up against it in this round-robin, but the good news is that the team has already had more highs and lows than the Nasdaq this season. After looking done like dinner in an early-season loss to Glenwood Springs, the Huskies ran off eight straight wins. Battle Mountain also handed those Demons their only 4A Slope loss.
Class 4A Region 2 Tournament at Montrose, 10 a.m.
Eagle Valley (No. 23, 12-10) faces a familiar foe in Montrose (No. 2, 19-4). The Indians beat the Devils way back on Sept. 3.
The ace in the Devils’ collective back pocket is that they’ve played a tough schedule that’s included Grand Junction Central, Green Mountain, Fruita Monument (twice), Legacy, Fairview, and the aforementioned Indians.
As impressive as tangling with strong 4As and 5As is, the Devils took 3A Colorado Springs Christian to five sets last weekend in a triangular in Erie. Regardless of classification, those Lions are traditionally one of the best teams in the state annually.
Eagle Valley opens its regional with a tilt against Longmont (14-9).
Class 4A Region 5 Tournament at Wiggins, 3 p.m.
Welcome back to the postseason, Vail Christian.
The Saints started the season 0-4 and finished with a 12-11 mark, including four- and seven-match winning streaks in Adina Petersmeyer’s first year at the helm.
Vail Christian hopes that the turnaround continues at Wiggins in the northeastern corner of the state.
The host Tigers tied for second in the Lower Platte League behind Merino, and Vail Christian and Vail Mountain know from the past how good Merino is.
While the Saints are making quite a road trip (171 miles), that’s a hop, skip and a jump for the other team in the regional, Hoehne (262 miles). The Farmers are so close to New Mexico that they’re in the Santa Fe League. (We understand it’s the trail and not the city).
Class 2A Region 2 Tournament at Limon, 4 p.m.
Welcome to the Eastern Plains, again, Vail Mountain. Seriously, what’s up with VMS’s travel in the postseason? Soccer went to Lamar and now volleyball to Limon.
Regardless of location, the Gore Rangers enter the postseason with some momentum. After losing eight of 10, they went on a tear, winning three in a row at the 2A Slope Tournament last weekend. That included a five-set win against West Grand, which enters regionals as the No. 7-ranked team in Class 2A.
VMS takes on Custer County (13-10) before facing host, Limon (18-5)