Palisade, FM set for volleyball regionals

From left, Palisade players Savannah Hanson, Morgan Thieszen and Shannon Rhodes celebrate after winning a point.

Fruita Monument’s MacKenzie Schuller, #15, spikes the ball over the net during a recent game against Durango High School.

Palisade High School has the solid group of seniors, Fruita Monument is juiced with juniors, and both are raring to go for today’s regional volleyball matches.

Fruita Monument (18-5, 9-1 Southwestern League) is the No. 20 seed in the Class 5A Region 5 pool at Mountain Vista.

The Wildcats, who won the Southwestern League title, are led by juniors MacKenzie Schuller (224 kills), Jordan Eatwell (135 kills, 45 solo blocks), Joelle LeFevre (37 aces, 362 digs) and Loryn Chiapuzio (36 aces, 237 digs).

They’ll face No. 5 seed Mountain Vista (18-5) and No. 32 seed Poudre (13-10) in pool play. All regional winners advance to the state championships.

Fruita might be junior-laden, but Wildcats coach Bob Richardson planned ahead. He had these juniors getting varsity experience as freshmen.

“Sometimes it’s hit or miss in high school whether you get a group of athletes,” Richardson said. “So, a couple years ago Central had a real good senior class; we’ve got a nice group of kids who are now juniors. ... even though we’re young on paper being juniors, most all of our team is in its second year of varsity experience.”

Palisade (15-8, 10-2 4A Western Slope League) is even more experienced with seniors Courtney Clark, Tahverle Hodges, Morgan Thieszen, Savannah Hanson, Shannon Rhodes and Courtney Wells.

Amber Crigger is a junior and Alyssa Chutka is a sophomore, and, well, that’s the Bulldogs’ roster.

No. 25 seed Palisade will play today in the Class 4A Region 12 tournament against No. 12 Ponderosa (9-14) and No. 13 Air Academy (18-5).

“We have six seniors who have played together for four years,” Palisade coach Wendy MacAskill said. “They’ve just really come together, and our one goal is for other teams to have to defend everybody, and I think they’ve done that.”

Other area regional qualifiers playing today:

■ Montrose in 4A Region 6 at Thompson Valley High School.

■ Delta in 4A Region 8 at Durango High School. 

■ Olathe in 3A Region 2 at Platte Valley High School.

■ Grand Valley in 3A Region 4 at University High School.

■ Paonia in 2A Region C at Vail Mountain High School.

Mesa Juniors tryouts

The Mesa Juniors Volleyball Company is holding tryouts for under-18 boys and girls Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Central High School and Nov. 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Colorado Mesa University.

Players must register at prior to tryouts.


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