Volleyball: Back in postseason, Eaglecrest eyes return to 5A state volleyball tournament

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Eaglecrest High School volleyball Lorrin Poulter, Rachael Perrine and Taylor O'Brien on Wednesday Aug. 03, 2016 at Aurora Sentinel. Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel
Sophomore Lorrin Poulter, left, and seniors Rachael Perrine, center, and Taylor O’Brien have helped the Eaglecrest volleyball team post 10 more wins than last season going into the Class 5A Region 6 tournament on Nov. 5, 2016. The No. 19-seeded Raptors take on Monarch and host Chaparral for a chance to make it to the 5A state tournament at the Denver Coliseum. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | The Eaglecrest volleyball team has gotten back on track in a hurry.

After a 6-16 record and missing the postseason altogether last season, coach Tanya Bond’s Raptors have returned with a vengeance thus far in 2016 with 10 more victories and the belief that a return to the Class 5A state tournament is possible.

With 10 more wins to its credit, 16-7 Eaglecrest received the No. 19 seed in the 36-team regional field battling for spots in the Nov. 11-12 5A state tournament at the Denver Coliseum. To get back to a place where the program has become a regular in recent years, the Raptors will need to get through Saturday’s 5A Region 6 tournament at Chaparral, which features the host and sixth-seeded Wolverines in addition to No. 31 Monarch.

Eaglecrest High School volleyball on Wednesday Aug. 03, 2016 at Aurora Sentinel. Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel
Senior Makenzi Kissman is part of an outstanding service game for Eaglecrest, which has helped the Raptors to a 16-7 record going into Class 5A regionals. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

Eaglecrest may need to knock off a little rust, as Bond’s team hasn’t played since a sweep of Douglas County on Oct. 25. A four-match trip to Florida top open the season took the place of the season-ending tournaments many other teams played.

The Raptors open Region 6 play at 10:30 a.m. against Monarch (12-11), then close out against Chaparral (16-7) in a match scheduled for noon.

The team with the best record after the round robin tournament advances to the 5A state volleyball tournament.

Eaglecrest is an exceptional serving team with sophomore Lorrin Poulter leading the way with 73 — averaging 1 per set — while seniors Rachael Perrine and Makenzi Kissman and junior Lauren Myli (who had a 12-ace match against Mullen) and plenty of balance on the attack as Perrine averages 3.7 kills per set, followed by Poulter (2.3 kps) and Myli (1.5 ops).

Senior Nyliah Horton’s presence at the net has become more important to the Raptors as the season has gone along.

Chaparral comes into regionals with six wins in its last seven matches, with the only loss a five-setter against top-seeded Fossil Ridge — which has already qualified for the state tournament — at the Cheyenne Mountain Tournament. Monarch closed its season with a 3-2 performance at the Dakota Ridge Tournament.

Aurora is still in search of its first state tournament qualifier as No. 18 Grandview, No. 24 Cherokee Trail and No. 32 Rangeview all came up short at their respective regional tournaments Friday. No. 28 Regis Jesuit is also in action on Saturday, as the Raptors play in the Region 6 tournament at Chaparral.

Full 5A regional pairings and schedule, here.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

2016 CLASS REGION 6 VOLLEYBALL

Nov. 5 at Chaparral H.S.

Teams: No. 6 Chaparral (16-7), NO. 19 EAGLECREST (16-7), No. 31 Monarch (12-11)

Schedule: No. 31 Monarch vs. No. 6 Chaparral, 9 a.m.; No. 31 Monarch vs. NO. 19 EAGLECREST, 10:30 a.m.; NO. 19 EAGLECREST vs. No. 6 Chaparral, noon