Twenty-four teams will qualify for the Class 5A girls volleyball regionals this year, a group that automatically includes league champions. Senior Maddie Cooley (6) and Cherokee Trail currently own a share of the top spot in the Centennial League standings. The Colorado High School Activities Association also announced that the state tournament in all classifications will be played in Loveland. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | Like nearly ever other state tournament put on by the Colorado High School Activities Association during the coronavirus pandemic, the state volleyball tournament is on the move.

Last week, the state’s governing body announced that the state volleyball tournament — which has brought together the top teams in every classification at the Denver Coliseum for quite some time — is now set to be played at the NORCO Volleyball Facility in Loveland May 10-11.

Five classifications again come together for a championship event that will now take place at a venue that spans 30,000 square feet and features 10 courts, which is twice as many as the configuration for the Denver Coliseum allowed in years past.

“We are really excited to partner with NORCO Volleyball because even during this COVID year, we are still able to showcase all five classifications at the same time for the finals,” CHSAA assistant commissioner Bethany Brookens said in a statement. “We are thrilled that we were able to find a facility where all classifications can be showcased and celebrated together and equally, like in a normal year.”

The girls volleyball season — shifted from its traditional spot in the fall to Season C because of the pandemic — began with practice on March 8. Each team is allowed to play 14 matches (down from 23) and complete regular season play by April 24, with regional tournaments slated for Saturday, May 1, prior to the May 10-11 state championship tournament.

An eight-match limit is required to qualify for the postseason and 24 teams will make it to regionals, a group that automatically includes league winners with the rest coming from CHSAA’s Seeing Formula, which is made up of CHSAA RPI, MP Freeman Ranking and Coaches Poll. Teams in quarantine that will last until after May 1 will not be seeded into regionals.

The winners of all eight three-team regionals advance to the state tournament, which will now be a single-elimination format over two days.

Among the safety measures in place this season to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 are the wearing of masks while playing, the elimination of pregame and postgame handshakes between teams, while teams also remain on the same side of the net for the entire match instead of switching off at the conclusion of each set.

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