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Cover: The 2021 Wiley Lady Panthers volleyball team won the Class 1A Region 5 tournament held at Wiley High School on Saturday, Nov. 6. Wiley defeated Cheyenne Wells and Weldon Valley to earn a second consecutive appearance in the 1A state tournament on Nov. 11-13 at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. Wiley team members include Front row (left to right): Lupita Marquez, Demi Wollert, and Grace Pendleton. Middle row (left to right): Manager Alexa Weber, Manager Bentyn Tixier, Grace White, Jackie Salgado, Sariya Osborn, Manager Dixie Bitner, and Manager Anna Wollert. Back row (left to right): Head coach Melissa Larrick, Wayttyn Wollert, Claire Pendleton, Cait Zordel jersey (in her memory), Katie Salgado, Boston Weber, Johanna Brown, Kaylee Salgado, Fatima Gomez, and Assistant coach Teri Wallace.
Photo: Nita Walls

Wiley Wins Region 5 Title to Earn Trip to 1A State Tournament

By John Contreras

2021-11-10 09:04:13

Nita Walls

The Wiley Lady Panthers celebrate after they claimed the 1A Region E championship with wins against Cheyenne Wells (25-15, 25-14, 25-23) and Weldon Valley (25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18) on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Wiley High School. In the process, the Lady Panthers (20-2) punched their tickets to the 1A state tournament to be played Nov. 11-13 at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.

The postseason got underway in high school volleyball with state-qualifying regional tournaments held across the state last week.

In Class 1A, the Wiley Lady Panthers claimed the Region 5 championship to earn a second straight trip to the 1A state tournament.

Wiley defeated Cheyenne Wells in three sets by the scores of 25-15, 25-14, and 25-23.

The Lady Panthers then defeated Weldon Valley, 3-1. The scores were 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, and 25-18.

“Heading into the regional tournament we were pretty excited,” said Wiley head coach Melissa Larrick. “It’s always exciting during the postseason. We played Cheyenne Wells earlier in the season, so we kind of knew what they were working with. However, they definitely showed up to play, and proved that on the court.”

“We hadn’t seen Weldon Valley during the regular season, so we weren’t too sure what to expect,” added Larrick. “They were definitely a good team, and our girls battled through that match to make it into the state tournament. Looking ahead, we have some things that we need to work on defensively and behind the service line.”

Also qualifying for state was Cheraw who hosted and won the Region 8 Tournament.

The Lady Wolverines (21-4) defeated Simla, 3-1, and Dove Creek, 3-0.

The season came to an end for Kit Carson, Springfield, and McClave.

Kit Carson competed in the Region 1 Tournament held at Briggsdale.

Kit Carson defeated Elbert, 3-0, before falling to Briggsdale, 3-0.

Springfield participated in Region 2 Tournament held at Fleming.

Springfield beat La Veta, 3-0, before losing to Fleming, 3-0.

McClave traveled to Haxtun for the Region 3 Tournament.

The Lady Cardinals beat Evangelical Christian, 3-1, before they fell in three sets (25-14, 25-12, and 25-8) to Haxtun (22-3).

McClave ended the season with a 17-7 record.

The Lady Cardinals will lose the following seniors Maggie Chase, Ciara Solis, and Edith Mungaray from the varsity roster.

Wiley takes a 20-2 record into the state tournament that runs Nov. 11-13 for all classifications at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.

The two losses this season for Wiley were to Briggsdale, 3-1, and to Haxtun, 3-0.

In the state tournament last year, No. 2 seed Wiley was upset and eliminated in its first match following a three-set loss to No. 7 seed Sangre de Cristo (25-14, 25-23, 25-22).

Merino returns as the defending 1A state champions.

This year’s state tournament will be played under a new format and is not a single elimination bracket like last year.

No. 5 seed Wiley will face No. 12 seed Genoa-Hugo/Karval in Match 3 at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11.

If Wiley wins they would face No. 4 seed Merino in Match 18 set for 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. Merino drew a bye.

If Wiley loses they would play the loser of Match 19 between No. 3 Haxtun and No. 6 Stratton or No. 11 Belleview Christian at 12:00 on Friday in the elimination bracket.


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