CLASS 1A VOLLEYBALL DAILY DIGEST – 9/22/22
BY: KERRY SHERMAN
Four ranked teams will be in action tonight, with two going head to head. That’s just part of a great slate of games in Class 1A. Before we look at tonight’s contests, we take a brief glance at last night’s top match.
Belleview Christian shook off nearly two weeks of rust and picked up a win over 3A DSST: Conservatory Green. The Bruins were pushed hard in the first two sets, but came out with 26-24 and 25-19 wins. They closed out the victory with a 25-14 third. Bethany Long led the team with 13 kills and 16 digs, while Jessica Alstadt was busy adding nine kills and 19 assists.
Two of the biggest match-ups tonight feature ranked teams. The next chapter of the rivalry between #2 Fleming and ninth-ranked Briggsdale will play out tonight, as the Wildcats host the Falcons. In the MaxPreps era, Fleming has won 37 of 40 matches, with Briggsdale’s wins all coming since 2018.
The match will see two of the top four hitters in the classification, with Kally Kirkwood (third) leading Fleming with 173. She went over 1400 in her career in a sweep of Prairie last Friday. Briggsdale’s Jenna Krise is fourth with 157 kills. Shes had 19, 19, and 20 in her last three matches and is averaging just over five per set. With those two hard hitters, the outcome will be impacted by back row players. For the Wildcats, Laney Schliesser (116 digs), Kirkwood (105), and Lexi Schaefer (91) will face the challenge, while the trio of Macie Klem (116), J. Krise (106), and Kayl Klem (91) will be key for the Falcons.
Top-ranked Merino will put its perfect record on the line in a non-league contest at Weldon Valley. The Rams have only dropped one set on the year, with Fleming taking that one almost a month ago. They’ve recorded eight straight sweeps since. Weldon Valley stunned Briggsdale last Thursday, as the Warriors swept the Falcons in North Central action.
Eighth-ranked Idalia makes the trip north on 385 to face 2A Wray. The Wolves, who won two straight since dropping a big YWKC match to Otis last Friday, have taken four of the last since meetings with Wray, including a 3-0 sweep last year. Addyson Juhnke leads the Wolves with 93 kills, one short of her total from last season. Jenna Wieser went over 500 kills for her career in the loss to Otis, and has 82 on the season, just ahead of Kyndal Richards, who has 79. Wray just picked up its second win of the year last Friday, beating 3A Brush 3-0, but the Eagles fell to Haxtun in four sets on Tuesday.
Cheraw recently fell out of the top-ten after dropping consecutive matches to Springfield and #7 McClave, but the Wolverines are the first team in the category of Others Receiving Votes. A win over 2A Las Animas could help get them back in the rankings. The Wolverines have won the last two meetings in the series, which is tied at 2-2. One of the big keys for Cheraw’s success this season has been their back row. Six players have at least 50 digs, with freshman Adi Miell leading the group with 99. Delaney Bond, the team’s leading hitter, is next with 89, and Kieran Harris has 85.
Staying in the southeast portion of the state, Eads looks to bounce back from a sweep at the hands of #4 Kit Carson last Friday in a non-league contest at South Baca. That loss snapped a five-match winning streak for the Eagles. The freshman duo of Kara Wilson (eight) and Tailee Weeks-Johnson (seven) combined for 15 kills in that loss. Weeks-Johnson is tops on the season for the Eagles with 70 kills, just three ahead of Wilson. South Baca broke a three-match skid with a four set victory over Walsh in Ark Valley play on Tuesday. Tierra Cook (31) and Chloe Johnson (30) combined for 61 digs. Johnson has 189 on the season, with Cook having 187. The Patriots have five players already over 100 on the season.
In other big contests tonight, Kiowa puts a two-match winning streak on the line when the Indians visit Genoa-Hugo. The Indians have won five of their last six matches, with the lone loss in that stretch coming against Kit Carson. Genoa-Hugo is trending in the opposite direction, having lost seven in a row. The Pirates have only won one set during that run and have just seven set wins to their credit this season.
Cotopaxi broke its three-match skid with a sweep of Mountain Valley in non-league play last Saturday. The Pirates are back in West Central competition at 2A Custer County. The series has belonged to Custer County, as the Bobcats have won 13 of the last 16 meetings.