by Sam Haimann
The Holidays may be over, but the weather outside Northern Colorado Juniors’ immaculate practice/competition facility, as well as around the country, has remained frightful. With the air temperature hovering around -10 degrees outside at the start of the day, stop number two on the Colorado Tournament Series kicked off.
With the weekend’s competition utilizing a three-day format, today’s top two finishers in each pool will filter up to remain in contention for a place in Monday’s knockout round gold bracket, with Sunday’s reseeded round robin making the final cuts.
The only unbeaten side from day one in the 15 Elite ranks came from one of the two, three-team pools, that played the rarer, day-one crossover contest, in the form of Elevation 15 Peak, who squared up with South County 15 Sarah, the second three-team pool winner, in a crossover duel for round two seeding purposes, earning the decision following a feature-length bout to wrap their day.
Rocky Elite 15 National soared from the fourth seed in pool two, to earn passage into round two’s top group, joining pool leaders Idaho Crush 15 Bower as the two sides to remain gold bracket eligible.
Parity was the theme in the 16 Elite ranks, as nearly every group in round one either required a tie breaker to determine promotion and relegation, or was, seemingly, perfectly balanced.
Home team NORCO 16 Black maintained a superior set percentage differential over Intermountain Region reps Club V 16 Run Kris to earn promotion into round two’s gold-eligible pool play groups. Pool two would see South County 16 Daricefollow suit, holding the scant statistical advantage, only on point differential, over Elevation 16 Peak.
Oklahoma Charge 16 UA, Colorado Elite 16 Jake, and Colorado Juniors 16 Abbie led their respective groups to first place finishes, retaining their seeding into round two, with Front Range 16-2 Red, Juggernaut 16 National 1, and Fight Club 16-1 nipping at the heels of their respective group leaders
The only group that held no ties, was the only three-team pool in the 16 Elite division, in which Rocky Elite 16 National and Excel Northwest 16-1 Lux finished one-two.
Top seeded Idaho Crush 17 Bower corralled three wins, topping hosts NORCO 17 Black, and Colorado Juniors 17 Kevinin back-to-back duels to close out their opening round still atop the field. The defeat demoted Colorado Juniors out of the running for a place in the knockout round’s gold bracket, while NORCO found their way out of a messy three-way 1-2 tie, earning the nod over Colorado Juniors by a slim point percentage differential.
Colorado Volleyball Association 17 Black turned in the only unblemished scorecard of the day in the 17 Elite field, sweeping their way past Momentum 17 Riley, and River City Juniors 17 Navy
Front Range 17-1 Black took a pair of contests to deciding sets, against Club V 17 Ren Kyle and Kairos 17 Alpha, ultimately prevailing in both, en route to picking up all three wins on the day, finishing atop group two. As did South County 18 Josh, posting three wins out three, and Volt 17 Open, who claimed a pair of wins, topping the only three-team group in the 17 Elite field.
Momentum 18 Jen rose above the trio of 17U squads seeded above them in pool five, shutting down Elevation 17 Peak in three sets to clinch the group in their final match of the day.
***A double dip of Supernovas and Shooting Star player highlights coming tomorrow!***