Volleyball: Four Aurora teams earn passage to 5A state tournament

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Members of the Cherokee Trail volleyball team hold up the Class 5A Region 7 championship plaque on Oct. 25, 2014. (Photo by Steve Smith/MetroWest Newspapers)
Members of the Cherokee Trail volleyball team hold up the Class 5A Region 7 championship plaque on Oct. 25, 2014. (Photo by Steve Smith/MetroWest Newspapers)

AURORA | The home court advantage served city volleyball teams well in Class 5A regionals, as all four Aurora playing in their own gyms Saturday earned spots in the 5A state tournament.

Top-seeded Eaglecrest, No. 2 Grandview — the defending state champion — and No. 7 Cherokee Trail all won twice without dropping a set, while third-seeded Regis Jesuit had to go the distance to join them in the 12-team 5A field Nov. 7-8 at the Denver Coliseum.

Seedings for the four three-team state pools is due out Monday.

The top seven seeds going into regionals all advanced, but Regis Jesuit received the biggest challenge. Coach Laura Dunston’s Raiders won their opener against 34th-seeded Boulder and then faced 22nd-seeded Coronado — which also needed four sets to top the Panthers — for the right to go to state.

Regis Jesuit (19-6) had a chance to close out the Cougars after a 28-26 win in the third game, but Coronado won a tight fourth game to force the fifth and deciding game. The Raiders ran out to an early lead and prevailed for a 25-22, 22-25, 28-26, 22-25, 15-9 victory, the 12th straight for Dunston’s team.

Senior Santaisha Sturges piled up 24 kills, while senior Jillian Desmond added 17 and junior Taylor Smith 10, while four Regis Jesuit players recorded double-digit digs led by Smith with 20 and Alex Cotner with 18. Jenna Heinemeyer and Kassandra Sturges combined for 59 assists as the Raiders earned their first trip to state since 2011.

Eaglecrest (18-5) handled No. 36 Liberty in its opener, then took down 24th-seeded ThunderRidge by a 25-18, 25-18, 25-19 count in the Region 1 championship match.

Senior Kalee Maricle paced the Raptors with 15 kills, while sophomore Rachael Perrine added 12 and senior Jordyn Poulter put away 10 balls in addition to her 35 assists. Poulter averaged 10 assists per set on the day for coach Tanya Bond’s team, which took its customary position in the state tournament.

Grandview (18-7) rode an efficient 21 kills by senior Haley McLaren to a rout of No. 35 Monarch in the Region 2 opener, then blew past No. 23 Bear Creek 25-8, 25-13, 25-19 to return to the state tournament.

Cherokee Trail earned its third straight trip to the Denver Coliseum with solid wins over No. 30 Brighton and No. 18 Rock Canyon.

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

2014 CLASS 5A VOLLEYBALL REGIONALS

5A state tournament qualifiers: NO. 1 EAGLECREST, NO. 2 GRANDVIEW, NO. 3 REGIS JESUIT, No. 4 Rampart, No. 5 Chaparral, No. 6 Pine Creek, NO. 7 CHEROKEE TRAIL, No. 9 Cherry Creek, No. 10 Fairview, No. 12 Legend, No. 14 Highlands Ranch, No. 17 Chatfield

REGION 1 (at Eaglecrest High School)

NO. 1 EAGLECREST def. No. 36 Liberty 25-19, 25-17, 25-15; No. 24 ThunderRidge def. No. 36 Liberty 3-2; NO. 1 EAGLECREST def. No. 24 ThunderRidge 25-18, 25-18, 25-19 — (EAGLECREST advances to 5A state tournament)

REGION 2 (at Grandview High School)

NO. 2 GRANDVIEW def. No. 35 Monarch 25-14, 25-10, 25-10; No. 23 Bear Creek def. No. 35 Monarch 20-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-12; NO. 2 GRANDVIEW def. No. 23 Bear Creek 25-8, 25-13, 25-19 — (GRANDVIEW advances to 5A state tournament)

REGION 3 (at Regis Jesuit High School)

NO. 3 REGIS JESUIT def. Boulder 3-1; No. 22 Coronado def. No. 34 Boulder 3-1; NO. 3 REGIS JESUIT def. No. 22 Coronado 25-22, 22-25, 28-26, 22-25, 15-9 — (REGIS JESUIT advances to 5A state tournament)

REGION 5 (at Chaparral High School)

No. 5 Chaparral def. NO. 32 SMOKY HILL 25-16, 25-13, 25-15; No. 20 Lakewood def. NO. 32 SMOKY HILL 25-23, 25-23, 25-17; No. 5 Chaparral def. No. 20 Lakewood 25-21, 25-18, 20-25, 25-14 — (Chaparral advances to 5A state tournament)

REGION 7 (at Cherokee Trail High School)

NO. 7 CHEROKEE TRAIL def. No. 30 Brighton 25-16, 25-20, 25-16; No. 18 Rock Canyon def. No. 30 Brighton 25-20, 29-27, 27-25; NO. 7 CHEROKEE TRAIL def. No. 18 Rock Canyon 25-18, 25-18, 25-23 — (CHEROKEE TRAIL advances to 5A state tournament)

REGION 10 (at Fairview High School)

No. 10 Fairview def. NO. 27 RANGEVIEW 26-28, 25-18, 17-25, 28-26, 15-13; NO. 27 RANGEVIEW def. No. 15 Arapahoe 25-22, 22-25, 23-25, 25-14, 15-9; No. 10 Fairview def. No. 15 Arapahoe 25-17, 25-27, 22-25, 25-20 — (Fairview advances to 5A state tournament)