GJ joins Fruita in volleyball playoffs

It’s no surprise that Fruita Monument High School, ranked No. 9 in the most recent Class 5A volleyball poll, is hosting a regional tournament this weekend.

The surprise is that Grand Junction is joining the Wildcats.

The Wildcats nabbed the No. 10 seed and host No. 15 Fort Collins and No. 27 Grand Junction on Saturday in the round-robin tournament. The regional champion advances to the state tournament.

Grand Junction finished 3-7 in the Southwestern League, but had a number of quality nonleague wins to push its season record to 10-11.

“We knew we right there on the cusp of making it into the tournament,” Grand Junction coach Shawna Emmons said. “We were staying right there in like the 30 to 34 range, so we thought we had a chance. I’m just excited that a Grand Junction team made it in for the first time in a long time. So I think the girls are excited and I’m just so glad we don’t have to travel.

“To be successful the girls will just have to have all six of them put everything together. The problem for us this season is getting on the same page. Sometimes two or three girls will have it, but something’s not quite right with the others. Something is off or something isn’t clicking. To win, it will take a total team effort.”

The tournament begins at 9 a.m. with the Tigers and Wildcats playing at Fruita Monument High School.

Fruita (19-4) won both matches between the rivals, taking the first contest 3-2, with the Wildcats winning the fifth game 15-9. Fruita swept the second match.

■  Montrose hosts No. 19 Mountain View (14-9) and No. 31 Steamboat Springs (13-8) in a Class 4A regional after receiving the No. 6 seed. The Indians (19-4, 8-2) finished second to Fruita Monument in the SWL. The Indians are led by seniors Emily Sandburg and Brooke White.

■  In Class 3A, No. 13 Olathe (17-6), No. 30 Rifle (11-12), No. 33 Cedaredge (10-13), and No. 34 Grand Valley (9-14) all qualified for regional tournaments. Olathe travels to No. 12 Lamar (20-3), Rifle to No. 7 University (15-8) in Greeley, Cedaredge to No. 4 Platte Valley (16-7), and Grand Valley to No. 3 Manitou Springs (23-0).

■  Paonia (23-0) hosts the Class 2A Region C tournament, competing against Nucla (11-11) and West Grand (11-12).

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