Gazette Preps volleyball capsules

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Photo - Colorado Springs Christian School's Christine Ajayi and Jamie Nielson jump up to block a shot during the 3A volleyball state tournament playoffs between Colorado Springs Christian School and Lutheran at the Denver Coliseum on Friday, November 13, 2015. Colorado Springs Christian School beat Lutheran 3-0. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette
Colorado Springs Christian School's Christine Ajayi and Jamie Nielson jump up to block a shot during the 3A volleyball state tournament playoffs between Colorado Springs Christian School and Lutheran at the Denver Coliseum on Friday, November 13, 2015. Colorado Springs Christian School beat Lutheran 3-0. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette

Class 5A

CSML

Coronado

Coach: Stormie Wells (second season)

Key players: None reported.

What to know: The Cougars qualified for the state tournament last year but fell to Fossil Ridge and Highlands Ranch in pool play.

 

Doherty

Coach: Lauren Tekavec (second season)

Key players: None reported.

What to know: The Spartans went 12-12 last season following two straight losing seasons.

 

Pine Creek

Coach: Molly Stowers (first season)

Key players: None reported.

What to know: Even after first-year coach Amy Shoemaker resigned on Oct. 9, the Eagles reached the state tournament a month later under co-coaches Shelley Lockwood and Paul Waring. Stowers is in her first season.

 

Rampart

Coach: Nikki Bloemen (fourth season)

Key players: Kyra Parker, sr., setter; Kira Warren, sr., OH; Taylor Sibert, sr., OH; Mica VanDerMeulen, sr., L.

What to know: The Rams came within a set of qualifying for the state tournament last year. Led by Kyra Parker, who had the most assists per set in 5A at 10.4, the Rams should be among the contenders for the CSML crown. Last year, Rampart went 16-9 and 6-0 in league.

 

Class 4A

CSML

Mesa Ridge

Coach: Grace Neal (second season)

Key players: Kylie Lenberg, jr., MH; Angelina Jackson, jr., OH; Alexis Medina, sr., setter.

What to know: The Grizzlies went 8-15 in Neal's first season in charge. Neal said her team's strengths are depth and leadership.

 

Mitchell

Coach: Sharalee Burr (sixth season)

Key players: None listed.

What to know: The Marauders rebounded from a winless campaign in 2015 to notch five victories last year. With no club players on roster, the Marauders are still searching for their first league win since 2014.

 

The Classical Academy

Coach: Kiyo Greene (fifth season)

Key players: Raegan Bervig, sr., OH; Annie Zielinski, sr., OH; Olivia Jacobsen, soph., MH; and Lexi Wilcox, jr., L.

What to know: Heightened awareness is necessary for a team with a height problem. The Titans did not have a player above 5-foot-10 on last year's roster, and Greene said lack of size will again be a weakness for TCA. The Titans still went 14-11 and 8-0 league.

 

Woodland Park

Coach: Christy Cornell (first season)

Key players: Sarah Garner, soph., MB; Delaney Battin, soph., OH; Kylee Newsome, jr., setter; Ellen Miller, soph., setter.

What to know: Miller could give the Panthers a spark after transferring from Lewis-Palmer, the 4A champs for three of the past four years. The Panthers, who went 11-12 last season, are talented but very young.

 

PPAC

Cheyenne Mountain

Coach: David Barkley (14th season)

Key players: Not reported.

What to know: A year after winning the state title, Cheyenne Mountain was eliminated in pool play at the state tournament by Valor Christian. The Indians went 18-9.

 

Discovery Canyon

Coach: Melissa Bravo (seventh season)

Key players: Hannah Pethtel, jr., S; and Ashten Prechtel, jr., MB.

What to know: Prechtel, at 6-foot-5, will be a key force in the middle for the Thunder. Last season, she converted 43 percent of her kills and led the team with 170 of them. The Thunder went 8-17 last year, snapping two straight winning seasons.

 

Lewis-Palmer

Coach: Wade Baxter (first season)

Key players: Kessandra Krutsinger, jr., MB; Gianna Bartalo, soph., L; McKenna Sciacca, jr., setter; Addie Feek, jr., MB.

What to know: Wade Baxter takes over for the defending Class 4A champions after longtime coach Susan Odenbaugh stepped down in March. The Rangers went 29-0 in the fall, winning their third title in the past four seasons. The Rangers replace three players that went on to Division-I programs, per Baxter.

 

Palmer Ridge

Coach: Jessen Miller (third season)

Key players: None reported.

What to know: The Bears went 18-7 last season and lost only twice in league - a 3-1 loss to Cheyenne Mountain and a 3-0 loss to L-P.

 

Sand Creek

Coach: Amy Christian (second season)

Key players: Anna-Ellen Graham, sr., OH; Lexie Regalado, sr., setter/OH.

What to know: Graham and Regalado will anchor the offense for the Scorpions, who went 7-16 last season. Christian said the two seniors can do everything on the court, from passing, to setting, to hitting.

 

Class 3A

Tri-Peaks

Colorado Springs Christian

Coach: Lori Currier (fifth season)

Key players: Christine Ajayi, sr., OH/DS/L; Christa Vogt, jr., MB; and Katie Hildenbrand, sr., MB.

What to know: The Lions lost four key seniors from a team that came within one game of playing for the 3A state title. The Gazette first-team all-area players Ajayi and Vogt will lead a team that has won more than 20 matches in three straight seasons.

 

Manitou Springs

Coach: Jane Squires (third season)

Key players: McKayla Cully, jr., LS; Abbie Boren, jr., setter; and Kylie Middleton, jr., LS/MH.

What to know: Squires said she is considering this a rebuilding year after losing 10 key players over the last two seasons. She, however, is happy with the strides her young team has taken over the summer.

 

The Vanguard School

Coach: Todd Thornton (first season)

Key players: Janine Coderre, sr., OH; and Alyssa Pecoraro, soph., setter.

What to know: Coderre led the Coursers with 181 kills a year ago. She'll lead Vanguard under first-year coach Thornton, who takes over after the Coursers went 11-12 last year.

 

Class 2A

Black Forest

Evangelical Christian Academy

Coach: Becky Kyle (sixth season)

Key players: Liz Bristow, sr., MB; Karoline Garwood, jr., OH; Amy Antes, soph., L; Elise Osborne, soph., setter.

What to know: The Eagles had their first winning season in eight years last season, going 13-12. But now they will have to replace more than 98 percent of the scoring from that team.

 

Fountain Valley

Coach: Zoe Phillips (second season)

Key players: Skye McCurdy, sr., MB; Ava Rahm, sr., MB; Delaney DeMott, sr., setter; and Sage Reynolds, sr., OH.

What to know: The Danes went 7-11 last season in Phillips' first year at the helm. Back in the mix is Rahm, who led the team in aces (55) and blocks (46) last season, and was second in kills (95). McCurdy also returns up the middle after she finished inside the top three in most major statistics on the team a year ago.

 

Peyton

Coach: Jacqueline Goodman (seventh season)

Key players: Annika DeAnda, soph., OH.

What to know: The Panthers have gone 5-15 for three straight seasons. Goodman said this year's team has "unlimited potential," adding that they're "relentless, resilient and determined."

 

1A

Black Forest

Hanover

Coach: Holly Decker (fifth season)

Key players: Nichole Belcher, jr., setter; Maria Acosta, jr., MB.

What to know: The Hornets are mixed with players with experience to players who are joining a volleyball team for the first time. Decker said the focus of her team is in serving and defense.

Brent Wilson New, The Gazette