DENVER | They still have a long path in front of them, but the Cherokee Trail and Grandview volleyball teams still have life in the Class 5A state tournament.
The second-seeded Cougars and eighth-seeded Wolves played back-to-back Friday morning at the Denver Coliseum in elimination bracket matches and both prevailed, earning themselves the chance to play again in the evening.
Grandview played twice on the opening day of the tournament and went 1-1 with a sweep of Ralston Valley to open and then a four-set loss to top-seeded Chaparral. It dropped coach Rob Graham’s team into an elimination bracket contest against a Cherry Creek team it swept during Centennial League back on Sept. 19.
The Wolves repeated the feat at the state tournament with a 25-20, 25-22, 25-14 victory in which they withstood some spurts by the 10th-seeded Bruins, who were eliminated with the loss. Grandview earned a spot in a match scheduled for 5 p.m. to play No. 11 Mountain Vista, a team it beat in four sets earlier in the year.
Coach Terry Miller’s Cherokee Trail played once Thursday and suffered a four-set upset loss to No. 7 Fort Collins. The Cougars’ sluggishness remained in the opening set of its elimination match with No. 9 Ralston Valley as it dropped a 25-19 decision.
Cherokee Trail got back on track from there, however, rarely trailing over the final three sets on its way to a 19-25, 25-11, 25-20, 25-18 victory that ended when senior libero Kealey Marshall’s bump hit the top of the net and trickled over for the clinching point.
The Cougars qualified for a 6:30 p.m. matchup against sixth-seeded Rampart, which held off No. 5 Broomfield 3-1 in an elimination contest.
Both Grandview and Cherokee Trail need wins to qualify for matches Saturday morning, with a win in that match sending it into the afternoon semifinals.
No. 12 Highlands Ranch also was eliminated with its second loss.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports