by Sam Haimann
After another chilly day of competition, the Triple Crown Colorado Challenge has its knockout round phase set! The competition inside the NORCO blew the doors open in the afternoon, with in-region sides making the most of home court familiarity, to the tune of championship bracket appearances aplenty.
Today’s Supernova and Shooting Star picks are predominantly notable performers who just missed out on Championship bracket play, and are being recognized for their efforts over the first two days of this weekend’s action. Championship bracket qualifying sides will have most of their standout athletes highlighted in our All-Tournament Teams!
The intimate 15 Elite field has its Championship bracket solidified, with Front Range 15-1 Black and Idaho Crush 15 Bower earning passage directly into the semifinal round of the six-team Championship bracket after finishing atop their respective pools on day two.
Kairos 15 Alpha and Colorado Juniors 15 Jen will meet for the chance to tango with Front Range, while NORCO 15 Black, who turned in the only 3-0/6-0 mark on the day in the 15 Elite ranks, and South County 15 Sarah have a date scheduled to decide who will face off with Idaho Crush.
Camble Booth, Outside/Opposite Hitter/ Middle Blocker, Colorado Juniors 15 Shannon
A versatile attacker who can accelerate through the approach/hitting process, showing off a live arm with consistent scoring capabilities.
Jillian Deatherage, Middle Blocker, Idaho Crush 15 Bower
A consistent, heavy-armed presence minding the middle of the ID Crush front line working pin-to-pin.
Landry Roberts, Outside Hitter, Colorado Juniors 15 Jen
A consistent target on the left side, and out of the back row Roberts is a solid six-rotation player who displays the capacity to handle to volume of outlet attacking duties as she continues to develop her game.
Harper Scott, Libero/DS, Colorado Juniors 15 Shannon
A determined defensive specialist patrolling the backline for Colorado Juniors who maintains mobility on defensive chances, and balance in serve receive.
Brooke Zink, Setter, NORCO 15 Black
A mindful presence while facilitating the NORCO offense, highlighted by clean release mechanics, and efficient footwork moving in and out of plays.
It was a fairly straight forward affair in the 16 Elite division on day two, with gold-eligible pool winners all collecting the three wins available to each of them, with group leaders NORCO 16 Black and Club V Red Kris sweeping their respective trio of matches with 3-0/6-0 entries in their tournament ledger.
Fight Club 16-1 made the leap from the fourth seed in their day two pool, posting three wins of their own to earn the top advancing position into the Championship bracket, leap-frogging in front of Kairos 16 Alpha, who also earned their place in the Championship bracket, sweeping Rocky Elite 16 National and Front Range 16-1 Black to filter up.
Oklahoma Charge bounced back from a match one defeat to eventual group winners Colorado Juniors 16 Kaleena overcoming Juggernaut 16 National-1 in t here sets to close out their round, and earn a spot in the Championship bracket.
Makaiya Bufford, Middle Blocker, Relentless VBC 16 Relentless
Displaying the drive and energy needed for the role, Bufford is a persistent option working hard to maintain availability on attacking chances to keep the wide attacking channels open.
Naomi Decker, Setter, Arete VBC 16s
An all-around solid athlete, Decker has a solid, yet deft touch on the ball, controlling second contacts consistently as a result of well-discipled footwork to the ball.
Katie Gieske, Middle Blocker, Colorado Juniors 16 Abbie
Doing the pin-to-pin dirty work in the middle of the Colorado Juniors net, Gieske churns through both offensive and defensive play sequences on and off the ball.
Taryn Hall, Libero/DS, Colorado Springs Altitude 16 Navy
Sporting notable platform control, and the willingness to pursue any errant touch, Hall is a dogged, defensive specialist.
Avery Seley, Setter, Excel Northwest 16 Lux
Standing out as a decisive signal caller, Seley can flick the ball around the floor with a mindful purpose intent on managing the match and put hitters in a position to be successful.
Hosts NORCO 17 Black draw top seeded Idaho Crush 17 Bower in the quarterfinals, after yielding to a persistent Kairos 17 Alpha side who earned the tie-breaking nod in their second round robin of the weekend; ID Crush swagger into the knockout round on the heels of a clinical second round performance, turning in a pair of sweeps, facing a win-by-two scenario only once, accompanied from their round two pool into the gold bracket, by Colorado Juniors 17 Jayne.
MVP 17 Red was just as thorough on day two, punching their ticket into the gold bracket with a 3-0/6-0 mark, setting the pace in their pool, followed closely by Front Range 17-1 Black, as the pair controlled the group, with no deciding sets necessary for the quartet.
Colorado Juniors 17 Kevin dominated their day two pool, submitting three sweeps, with no sets reaching 20 points for the opponents, with half of those sets not going past ten points, drawn into the quarterfinals with Front Range; Club V 17 Ren Kyle had the two wins needed for a place in the gold bracket quarters, having already topped NORCO 17 Blue and Rocky Elite 17 National before their brief meeting with the pool winners. Club V will meet MVP in the only gold bracket quarterfinal bout to not feature a team representing the Rocky Mountain Region.
Carly Dormanen, Libero/DS, Volt 17 Open
A balanced defender with an accurate touch off the platform, covering a wide swath of court to maintain a tidy back court for Volt.
Addison Humphrey, Setter, Colorado Volleyball Association 17 Black
Showcasing solid footwork around the floor, flashing a clean release with the ball in her hands, the CVA signal caller is a capable floor general.
Kaylie Jensen, Middle Blocker, Colorado Juniors 17 Jayne
An on-time hitter cycling through the central attacking routes, with an assertive arm that can bust blocks to score.
Candela Ruano-Fiuza, Setter, Elevation 17 Peak
An athletic southpaw pulling the strings of the Peak offense, Ruano-Fiuza is a hard worker moving about the court managing the setting duties for Elevation.
Aliah Snider, Setter, Momentum 18-1 Jen
Sporting a polished release, and athletic movements around the floor directing traffic, Snider is adept at setting against the grain with precision to find an open hitter.
Emme Carwin, Libero/DS, Relentless VBC 17-Relentless
Kennedy Checo, Middle Blocker, Colorado Volleyball Association 17 Black
Kate Hayhurst, Opposite Hitter, Idaho Crush 17 Bower
Brenna Kelly, Outside Hitter, Momentum 18-1 Jen
Kylie Speer, Outside Hitter, Colorado Skyline Juniors 17 Royal