The Bulldogs’ quest to qualify for Colorado’s most prestigious high school volleyball event will conclude this weekend at the Class 1A Region E Tournament, which will take place in Dove Creek on Nov. 4.
Dove Creek (15-6 overall, 8-2 in SJBL) will enter the tournament as the region’s top overall seed and will face off against third-seeded Nucla (8-13 overall, 3-7 in SJBL) at 10 a.m. and second-seeded Sangre de Cristo (17-6 overall, 9-1 in Southern Peaks League) at approximately 1:30 p.m.
The winner of the three-team tournament will advance to the Class 1A state tournament, which will take place in Denver, Nov. 10-11.
“Our goal is to break the (attendance) record at a Dove Creek volleyball game (this weekend),” Dove Creek athletic director Shane Baughman said. “We’re hoping that everyone that can come will come out and support our team.”
Bulldogs look to beat Nucla againOpening the tournament against Nucla, players from Dove Creek team figure to be confident in light of the fact that they scored two three-game victories over Nucla earlier this season.
Impressive victories over Norwood and North Park in the Class 1A District 1 Tournament last weekend may give the Mustangs the impression that they have a chance however, and fans could be in for an entertaining match.
Offensively, Dove Creek will look to sophomore Cassie Gatlin, who led her team in kills with 150, and junior Breea Meyer, who registered 142 kills on the year. Junior Madilyn Hankins and senior Faith Johnson could also play a role offensively as the pair combined for 216 kills on the year.
Nucla will be led by junior Taryn Sickles, who led Mustangs with 57 kills during the matches in which stats were recorded.
Defense key versus Sangre De CristoFacing off against Sangre de Cristo in its second match of the regional tournament, Dove Creek will be tasked with defeating an offensively talented opponent that has pressured its opponents throughout the season.
To stymie Sangre de Cristo’s attack, the Bulldogs will look to Gatlin, Meyer, Hankins, and Marissa Hatfield, who all registered at least 170 digs this season and helped the Bulldogs record 1163 total digs as a team.
Senior leadership could also play a role in the hotly contested match as Dove Creek will look to Hatfield, Johnson, and Larissa Randolph for guidance during the match’s biggest moments.
Admission prices for the regional tournament will be $6 for seniors and children and $8 for adults. Baughman noted that only Colorado High School Activities Association pas holders will be granted admission free of charge.