Cherokee Trail’s Rocky Xiao (8) sets a ball for Thor Kuusivuori during the Cougars’ three-set boys volleyball regional win over Cheyenne Mountain on April 29, 2022. Cherokee Trail earned a spot in the May 5-7 state tournament with the victory. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | The Cherokee Trail boys volleyball team is headed back to the state tournament after a tidy three-set regional victory over Cheyenne Mountain Friday night.

The fifth-seeded Cougars staved off some challenges from the 12th-seeded visitors, but prevailed 25-23, 25-21, 25-18 to earn a spot in the May 5-7 state tournament at Overland High School.

Cherokee Trail senior Hudson Harms (5) celebrates with teammates after a point in the Cougars’ three-set boys volleyball regional win on April 29, 2022, at Cherokee Trail High School. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

Coach Mike Thomsen’s Cherokee Trail team played again without injured star setter Caden Cole and with ball distribution spread out had plenty of diversity in its offense against the Red-Tailed Hawks. The Cougars improved to 18-5 on the season and move in the state tournament bracket, where they are slated to open No. 4 Discovery Canyon, which defeated the 13th-seeded Littleton Public Schools team Saturday (complete regional scoreboard, here).

Photo gallery from Cherokee Trail’s win over Cheyenne Mountain, here.

After winning a tight first set, Cherokee Trail founds itself down by a handful of points to Cheyenne Mountain early in the second set, but managed to stem the tide and surged to the lead with junior libero Jaime Coronel on the serve.

Sophomore John Clinton piled up 20 kills for the Cougars, while senior Hudson Harms added 12 as the two accounted for more than 80 percent of the team’s kills. Harms added 12 digs and 15 assists, one less than junior Rocky Xiao.

Cherokee Trail is one of three Aurora area teams to advance to the eight-team state tournament as third-seeded Eaglecrest — which the Cougars split with during the regular season — and No. 10 Regis Jesuit also won their matches. The Raptors topped No. 14 Poudre School District at home (story, here), while the Raiders went on the road and knocked off No. 7 Thornton in five sets (story, here).

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

2022 BOYS VOLLEYBALL REGIONAL

April 29 at Cherokee Trail H.S.

No. 5 Cherokee Trail def. No. 12 Cheyenne Mountain 25-23, 25-21, 25-18

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