Delta High School volleyball

Delta High School’s Ellie Ames sneaks a crucial kill by a Coal Ridge High School blocker. Ames and her teammates fought hard in defeat.

Last week’s year-ending volleyball tournament in New Castle was a bust for Delta High School’s Panthers. Delta played four games, beginning Nov. 1, and suffered losses in all of them. Delta started tournament play against host Coal Ridge High School and lost in straight sets, 2-0. Game two was against 4A Glenwood Springs High School and ended in a 2-1 loss to the Demons. The Nov. 2 play featured a 2-0 loss to Valley High School in an early game and was followed by a 2-0 loss to Cedaredge High School.

In the Nov. 1 match against Coal Ridge, though a loss, was closely contested, especially the second set. Coal Ridge won the first set 25-20 but had to dig deep to fend off a motivated Delta squad for a 33-31 decision.

Sophomore Raelee McCurdy played well at the net and scored 10 kills in the loss. Coal Ridge’s Taylor Wiescamp matched McCurdy’s number with 10 kills of her own for the Titans.

Sophomore Jillian Carlson paced Delta with 18 assists and Ari Cornejo posted 15 for Coal Ridge with teammate Phoebe Young dishing out 11 assists herself.

Haylin McCulloch had 14 serve receptions for the Panthers and Erika Kuta had 11. Coal Ridge’s serve reception leaders included Taylor Roberts (17), Lyanna Nevarez (13) and Brecken Guccini had 10.

In the late game on Nov. 1, against Glenwood Springs, McCurdy had nine kills. Dig leaders for the Panthers included Kuta (12), McCurdy (9) and McCulloch (8). Carlson finished with 17 assists in the game with Kuta’s 24 serve receptions, and another 18 from McCulloch, leading Delta players in those categories. Glenwood won the first set 25-14 but stumbled in the second set with the Panthers out scoring them 25-16. The third set was close with the Demons squeaking to a 25-23 decision.

Delta played Valley in its first game on Nov. 2 with the Vikings scoring a two-set win, 25-16, 25-9. The Panthers fell in their second game of the day to league rival Cedaredge 25-20 and 25-20 (see related story written by Kirby Henderson).

Though the results weren’t the best for Delta High School, Panthers’ coach Beth Nelson wasn’t too disappointed in how the weekend played out. “We had a tough weekend in Coal Ridge and we played our best against Glenwood Springs. It was tough competition which was nice to see before the regional tournament.”

Both Cedaredge and Delta are within the 32-team limit for playoff berths in Class 3A. Cedaredge (19-4) is ranked 11th and Delta (12-11) is sitting in the No. 31 spot. Colorado Preps has a tentative bracket for the coming regional tournaments around the state.

Delta will enter as the No. 31 seed and play in Region 6 at Eagle Ridge Academy in Brighton. The Warriors (21-2) are the host team and seeded sixth. Englewood, No. 19 (18-5) is the third team to play in the Region 6 tournament.

Coal Ridge (17-6) is the 18th seed and plays at Lamar (seventh seed, 18-5) with No. 30 Montezuma-Cortez (13-7). Cedaredge comes in at No. 11 (19-4) and will host No. 14 Prospect Ridge (14-9) and No. 25 Resurrection Christian (13-10).

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