Volleyball: Six teams reach state tournament

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The final days of the high school volleyball season see six local schools left vying to add championship hardware to their respective trophy cases.

Punching their ticket into the three-day state volleyball tournament starting Thursday, Broomfield is the lone representative in Class 5A. Frederick, Niwot, Erie, Holy Family and Mead make up five of the 12 teams in 4A.

All volleyball tournaments take place Thursday-Saturday at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. 5A and 4A finals are slated for 6 p.m. on the final day.

Below are their first-round matchups.

Class 5A state tournament opening roundNo. 7 Broomfield vs. No. 10 Pueblo WestDetails: Thursday, 12:30 p.m.Pay attention to: Broomfield’s Bermuda Triangle. Emma Winter, Sophie Buschmann and Lilia Neill make up one heck of a serious threat. On their own, each is one of the most potent scorers in the state. Together, they’re a three-headed bludgeoning that gives the Eagles a strong chance to make it as deep as anyone in the 5A field. Led by them, the Eagles haven’t lost two sets in a match in two months and are on a 16-game winning streak coming into the tournament. No. 2 Chaparral awaits in Round 2.Factoid: Broomfield will face Pueblo West for the first time since 2014. Both teams come into the meeting at 23-2 on the year.

Class 4A state tournament opening roundNo. 5 Frederick vs. No. 12 MeadDetails: Thursday, 9:30 a.m.Pay attention to: Strength vs. strength. Frederick has standout offensive threats in Katelin Sindelar and Kinley Lindhardt. Mead has the classification’s kill leader in Quincey Coyle. The two teams met earlier in the year as Frederick won the first two sets before holding on in five. For the No. 5-12 matchup, the margin between these two teams seems razor-thin. The winner will face No. 4 Thompson Valley in the afternoon.Factoid: A year after finishing runner-up, Mead brings in a heavy hitter in Coyle, who leads 4A with 343 kills. Frederick is the highest-ranked team from the area led by Sindelar’s 258 kills and Lindhardt’s 249.

No. 6 Niwot vs. No. 11 BerthoudDetails: Thursday, 11 a.m.Pay attention to: Finding Niwot’s weakness. It certainly has proven difficult throughout the fall. It has five players with more than 100 kills and four with more than 100 digs. Zoe Gibbs leads the way with 227 kills and 192 digs. Morgan Daugherty has 182 kills on a 43% clip and Varshini Panuganti has 327 digs. On Oct. 5, it beat Berthoud in straight sets. The winner gets No. 3 Windsor in Round 2.Factoid: Niwot hasn’t lost a set since September. Not just a match. A set. The Cougars have won 17 straight and claimed the 4A/3A Longs Peak League with 39 sets for to just four against.

No. 7 Erie vs. No. 10 Holy FamilyDetails: Thursday, 12:30 p.m.Pay attention to: Erie senior Maggie Olson. She is second only to Mead’s Coyle in 4A kills with 320 and has a kill percentage of 50.1%. She’ll be front and center as Erie faces league foe Holy Family for the third time this season. Erie won the first meeting in September. In the second on Oct. 26, Olson had 19 kills on a 67.9% clip, but Holy Family — led by Allie Ward’s 11 kills and Makenna Bertsch’s 10 — won in four sets. The winner this time will face No. 2 Cheyenne Mountain in Round 2.Factoid: Holy Family is 12-2 against Erie dating back to 2014, yet as of late the two teams have been neck-and-neck, trading wins in their past four meetings.