One state tournament that won’t be affected by the weather this weekend is boys volleyball, as the state’s best teams in the non-Colorado High School Activities Association sanctioned sport play for a title at Cherokee Trail High School.
The top seed in the 5A portion of the tournament is Cherry Creek, which includes athletes from a variety of different schools, including Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Overland and Cherry Creek.Cherokee Trail’s boys volleyball team poses after winning the 2014 state championship. Now playing out of Cherry Creek, the team featuring athletics from Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland, Smoky Hill and Cherry Creek will aim to win a second straight championship on May 9 at Cherokee Trail High School. (File photo)
Playing as Cherokee Trail last season, the team posted a 25-0 mark and won the state championship under coach Terry Miller — who coaches the Cherokee Trail varsity girls team in the fall — and enters this season’s state tournament at 18-0.
Matches begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $6 for students with IDs.
The Cherry Creek Blue team plays its first match at 12:15 p.m. on Court 1 against Cheyenne Mountain, with the winner advancing to a semifinal against Ponderosa Black or Niwot at 2:45 p.m. The bottom half of the bracket includes Doherty Blue against Ralston Valley and Pine Creek against The Classical Academy.
The 5A championship match is scheduled for 5:15 p.m., following the 4 p.m. championship match for the 3A Division, which also includes a Cherry Creek team.
Of the Cherry Creek team’s three seniors, at least two will play college athletics, as Jason Rhee (who attends Cherokee Trail) just signed a national athletic letter of intent to play at Johnson & Wales University’s campus in Providence, Rhode Island, and Ryan Swan (Overland) is headed to play basketball at the Air Force Academy. Swan played on the Overland boys basketball team that won the Class 5A state championship in March.
Last season’s, Matt McLaren of Grandview moved on to play at Penn State.
Boys volleyball and rugby continue to work towards CHSAA sanctioning, but face hurdles presented by Title IX complications — which has to do with equal participation numbers for boys and girls sports — among others.
— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes