AURORA | An already outstanding volleyball season for Centennial League teams gets an ending flourish with the Centennial League Challenge.
League play ended last week and the eight teams were seeded into the bracket for the three-match tournament, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday and conclude on Oct. 29.
Eaglecrest, Grandview and Cherokee Trail all finished 6-1 in league play — each with victories over each other — but the Raptors (12-4) came away as league champions by owning the league tiebreakers, with the Wolves (11-5) ending up second and the Cougars (14-2) third.
As the top seed, Eaglecrest opens the tournament with a home match against eighth-seeded Smoky Hill (2-13 overall, 0-7 in league play), second-seeded Grandview is home to No. 7 Overland (5-11 overall, 1-6 in league) and third-seeded Cherokee Trail pays a visit to sixth-seeded Mullen (8-8 overall, 2-5 in league).
Fourth-seeded Cherry Creek (11-5, 4-3) is at No. 5 Arapahoe (7-9, 3-4) in the only match not involving Aurora teams.
Winners and losers move into opposite sides of the bracket for play Thursday and final tournament places are decided Oct. 29.
The results can give a boost to the RPI fortunes of the top Aurora teams (Cherokee Trail currently No. 4, Grandview No. 10, Eaglecrest No. 13), who are currently all in position to host one of the 12 three-team Class 5A regional state qualifying tournaments.
The regular season for 5A teams must be completed by Nov. 2, with regionals scheduled to be completed by Oct. 9.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2019 CENTENNIAL LEAGUE VOLLEYBALL CHALLENGE
First round (Oct. 22)
Game 1: No. 8 Smoky Hill at No. 1 Eaglecrest, 6:30 p.m.
Game 2: No. 4 Cherry Creek at No. 5 Arapahoe, 6:30 p.m.
Game 3: No. 3 Cherokee Trail at No. 6 Mullen, 6:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 7 Overland at No. 2 Grandview, 6:30 p.m.
Winners bracket (Oct. 24)
Game 7: Game No. 1 winner vs. Game No. 2 winner, TBA
Game 8: Game No. 3 winner vs. No. 4 winner, TBA
Consolation bracket (Oct. 24)
Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, TBA
Game 6: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, TBA
Placing matches (Oct. 26)
Game 9 (7th place): Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, TBA
Game 10 (3rd place): Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, TBA
Game 11 (consolation championship): Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, TBA
Game 12 (championship): Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, TBA