Bruins win VB tournament

By Wayne Crick

Bruins win VB tournament   | Volleyball, CHS, PHS

Photo by Wayne Crick Cedaredge senior setter Kendall McHugh sets the ball during non-conference volleyball action against Olathe earlier in the season. McHugh ranks sixth in Class 2A assists with 567 and is eighth in scoring aces with 63. Paonia senior Ta

Thanks to a four-win weekend, in tournament play, Cedaredge High School earned first-place honors in Class 2A District 5 tournament play in Parachute. The Bruins faced tough competition on both days (Friday and Saturday) and scored wins in each match.

Against Meeker, on Friday, the Bruins scored a 3-0 win with scores of 25-18, 25-17 and 25-19. Later on Friday Cedaredge disposed of Soroco with scores of 25-7, 25-12 and 25-12.

Saturday morning began with Cedaredge facing its number one nemesis, Paonia, for the third time this season. The two teams' matches at their home sites took 1-1 records against each other into tournament play. The Bruins had big play stretches and were able to win the series with a 3-2 victory, 25-20, 25-23, 18-25, 13-25 and 18-16. In a match for the tourney title, Cedaredge earned a 3-1 win, 25-23, 26-24, 25-20 and 25-20.

When asked for specific players who had outstanding matches, Bruins coach Heather Dunbar found plenty to say. "I think our win this weekend was huge. There are some shout outs ... Kenzie Henderson had 22 kills against Paonia. It was something to see. I don't know if she even knew she had it in her to hit the ball like she did. Kendall McHugh set 77 outside sets alone, with 45 percent for kills (which is really good). And Amber Jenkins led us with 45 kills (against Paonia), again incredible.

"Lydia Knutson really stepped up and had a huge net-presence for us in the middle. Nellie Freeman reads hitters better than any kid I have ever coached and really saves us. She is all over the place. She was very consistent offensively and her serve was a weapon.

"West Grand was a great team and they were fighters. We would get them down by eight or nine and they would fight right back into it. However, overall, I would have to commend the entire team for a great effort. Every person had a role and performed in a top-caliber way."

Paonia had several players who made major contributions in several categories. Four Eagles contributed double-digit kills, led by Mackenna Hartigan's 14. Emily Pieper, Taylor Carsten and McKenna Palmer all finished with 11 kills.

Carsten paced Paonia's ace production with seven, while Ashley Van Vleet and Emily Pieper had four each.

Ashley Van Vleet had four blocks and Palmer another three to lead Paonia in that category.

Five Eagles recorded double-digit digs in the game. Leading the way was Pieper with 17. Hartigan, Carsten and Ashley Van Vleet added 16 each and Sophie Anderson finished with 11.

The Bruins host regional play Saturday.