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Players to Watch

Tara Buck, Sr., Niwot: She can put up a wall at the net and create points on offense.

Nicole Edelman, Sr., Fairview: Led the Knights in assists, digs and kills as a junior.

Kelsi Fleming, Sr., Skyline: Owns one of the better serves in the league.

Kelly Graham, Sr., Longmont: A tall setter who can catch the opposition off-guard.

Kassy Johannsen, Sr., Holy Family: One of two big hitters for a team with high expectations.

Lauren Knox, Sr., Broomfield: A major offensive threat who average more than five kills a game.

Taryn Lee, Sr., Erie: A big scorer who also works hard on defense.

Emily Lyneis, Sr., Silver Creek: A power hitter who can strike from any angle.

Hannah Safari, Sr., Monarch: The outside hitter is one of several key pieces for the Coyotes.

Postseason Information

League play to be completed by Oct. 22

District play to be completed by Oct. 29

Regional play to be completed by Nov. 5

State championships will be held Nov. 11-12 at Denver Coliseum

Team-by-Team capsules


Coach: Katie Tanaka, 3rd year

Last year: 13-6, 8-5 in 2A Mile High League; eliminated in 2A districts

Returning starters: Emily Oliver (Jr., MH/OH, 5-10), Annie Sullivan (Sr., MH, 5-9).

Others to watch: Katherine Bernal (So., MH/OH, 5-9), Devanshi Desai (Jr., DS, 5-4), Alicia Goode-Allen (Jr., DS, 5-5), Annie Halseth (Jr., RS, 5-7), Samantha Morrison (So., RS, 6-0), Lisa Pelikan (So., S, 6-0), Cassidy Priegel (Jr., L/DS, 5-4), Lauren Rainey (So., OH, 5-11).

Outlook: The Mustangs have a good amount of height and are versatile and athletic. Tanaka also noted a hard-working, competitive attitude so far this summer. Bernal is a multi-threat with power and speed.


Coach: Angela Sultzer, 1st year

Last year: 1-17, 0-11 in 5A Front Range

Returning starters: Kara Davis (Sr., MB, 6-0). Tyler Graham (Sr., OH/DS, 5-8), Michaela McKeown (Jr., 5-8, OH), Courtney Van Bussum (Jr., MB, 5-8), Lucille Van Vooren (Sr., RS, 6-0).

Others to watch: Bella Greer (So., S, 5-8).

Outlook: With a new coach and a new perspective, the Panthers are off to a good start so far in early practice sessions. The focus to this point has been to work on technique and learning the system along with some of the more physical aspects the sport demands. There is also a major emphasis on staying positive mentally.


Coach: Monica Tuz, 9th year

Last year: 14-12, 6-8 in 4A Northern Conference; eliminated in 4A regionals

Returning starters: Hanna Boyer (Jr., OH, 6-0), Rachel Dye (Jr., U, 5-8), Lauren Knox (Sr., OH, 5-11), Kailee VanTine (Jr., S, 5-7).

Others to watch: Sam Bartle (Sr., MB, 5-9), Katie Croell (Jr., MB, 5-9).

Outlook: There are two new starters in the middles, so getting that part of the court up to speed is a priority, but the Eagles have talent on the outside. The roster is not deep, so the team will need to be in shape and stay healthy.


Coach: Bev Sanders, 12th year

Last year: 1-18, 0-14 in 4A Northern Conference

Returning starters: Shanlie Anderson (Jr., DS, 5-7), Aly Cheney (Sr., OH, 5-10), Emily Gogerty (Sr., RS, 5-11), Claire Higgins (Jr., DS, 5-7), Taylor Langer (Jr., MB, 5-10).

Others to watch: Haley Amidei (So., S, 5-9), Rylee Steever (So., OH, 6-1), Katie Wirth (Jr., MB, 6-0).

Outlook: A few early victories should help the Warriors find some confidence after a rough season last year. The team is more athletic and dynamic than it was, and a good showing over the summer has provided some motivation. The potential is there, coach Sanders said.


Coach: Abby Hicks, 3rd year

Last year: 7-12, 4-10 in 4A Northern Conference

Returning starters: Kaitlyn Apple, (Sr., MB/OH, 6-0), MyHahn Garand (Sr., MB/RS, 5-10), McKayla Lafferty (Sr., S, 5-4), Taryn Lee (Sr., MB/OH, 6-0), Sam Simeon (Sr., OH, 5-7).

Others to watch: Kailey Pritchard (Jr., MB/RS, 5-9).

Outlook: The roster is full of multi-sport athletes who saw a good amount of varsity time last year, now they just need to get up to speed and into volleyball shape. The chemistry is great, and the Tigers are on the right track; the plan is to keep moving in the right direction.


Coach: Brooke Simmons, 7th year

Last year: 11-10, 8-3 in 5A Front Range League; eliminated in 5A districts

Returning starters: Ali Carleton (Sr., OH, 5-9), Nicole Edelman (Sr., S/RS, 6-2), Alex Flynn (Jr., L, 5-4), Emma Griffey (Sr., RS, 6-0), Kendall LaVine (Sr., MB, 6-4), Paige Lindgren (Jr., OH, 5-10), Ciel Tift (Sr., S, 5-9).

Others to watch: Courtney Roberts (Jr., OH, 5-7), Alison Yardley (So., MB, 5-9).

Outlook: The Knights have enough talent to provide options on both offense and defense, and there is a great deal of varsity experience on the roster. Edelman is a four-year starter and Carleton is a three-year starter, offering a core of leadership.


Coach: Tabitha Woods, 6th year

Last year: 19-1 overall, won the FRCAA tournament

Returning starters: Hannah Gaitain (Jr., 5-6), Ali Rakestraw (Sr., 5-10), Gabby Salter (Sr., 5-8), Hailey Schulman (Jr., 5-5).

Others to watch: Charissa King (Sr., 5-7), Bekah Romero (Sr., 5-7).

Outlook: Woods tends to run with her first six players and sub in only when necessary, so the top of the lineup will be crucial to the team’s success. The Pioneers have been dominant in the Front Range Christian Athletic Association over the past few years and they are working toward another strong showing this season.


Coach: Jamie Bradt, 13th year

Last year: 7-15, 4-10 in 4A Tri-Valley League; eliminated in 4A districts

Returning starters: Alisha Casados (Sr., OH, 5-5), Maddie Feauto (Sr., S, 5-7), Brooklin LeBon (So., OH, 5-9), Brittany Pepitone (Jr., RS, 5-8), Courtney Phifer (Sr., MB, 5-8), Courtney Zimmerman (Jr., MB, 5-9).

Others to watch: Jessica Wedel (So., OH/RS, 5-9).

Outlook: The Warriors have been playing together for several years, at the high school level as well over the summer and club. Only one senior was lost to graduation, so Frederick is aiming high with a league title in its sights.


Coach: Trisha Kroll, 10th year

Last year: 18-7, 9-1 in 3A Metropolitan League; eliminated in 3A regional tournament

Returning starters: Meghan Chiovitti (Sr., L, 5-4), Kelsey Cribari (Jr., S, 5-10), Mary Franz (Sr., MB, 602), Kassy Johannsen (Sr., OH, Sr.).

Others to watch: Blaire Mikesell (Sr., RS, 5-11), Claudia Pena (So., MB, 5-11), Sarah Weerstra (Jr., S, 5-6).

Outlook: A good amount of talent returns to the lineup for the Tigers, who are looking to build on a strong showing last season. The team made some positive strides over the summer and it hopes to carry that over into the prep season, which opens with several tough match-ups.


Coach: Holli Stetson, 8th year

Last year: 20-10, 11-3 in 4A Northern Conference; lost in 4A state semifinals

Returning starters: Cloie Cox (Jr., OH, 5-5), Kelly Graham (Sr., S, 5-11), Becca Mau (So., OH, 6-0), Diana Olson (Sr., L, 5-6).

Others to watch: Lacy Haddock (Fr., MB, 5-9), Dailyn Johnson (So., MB, 5-10), Maddie Precht (So., OH, 5-9).

Outlook: Stetson has watched many stellar players come through the program over the years, and she said there are more great athletes on the roster than ever before. About half the roster is made up of underclassmen, but the group on a whole is versatile and talented. The Trojans open with Broomfield and see Thompson Valley soon after to start the season off with a bang.


Coach: Lester Thorne, 2nd year

Last year: 5-18, 1-14 in 2A Mile High League; eliminated in 2A districts

Returning starters: Amanda Dick (Sr., OH/MB), Christina Ehr (Sr., OH/MB), Ashley Jauregui (So., DS), Keara Lenehan (Sr., MB).

Others to watch: Sara Bradenburg (So., DS), Codi Schumpert (Sr., OH), Taylor Sheafer (Sr., DS).

Outlook: The Warriors are looking to pick up a couple extra league victories, and communication and chemistry will play important roles if that is to happen.


Coach: Jeff Klipstein, 4th year

Last year: 14-12, 5-6 in 3A Patriot League; eliminated in 2A regionals

Returning starters: Nola Basey (Jr., OH, 6-1), Maddie Keen (So., OH, 5-8).

Others to watch: Genna Gibson (Jr., S, 5-3), Shannon Gillman (Sr., MB, 5-11).

Outlook: The Lions have installed a new defensive system, and if they improve on that side it should help the offense get rolling. Working on the outside, Basey and Keen are the big point scorers.


Coach: Rachael Ayers, 2nd year

Last year: 5-12, 2-8 in 3A Patriot League

Returning starters: Morgan Brim (So., S, 5-8), Paige Feaster (Jr., L, 5-5), Allison Majerus (So., OH, 5-10), Kelsie Majerus (Sr., RS, 5-10), Mikayla Martinez (So., S., 5-10), Kasey McKrola (Jr., MH, 5-11), Molly Neiley (Jr., OH, 5-11).

Others to watch: Kelsey Lutz (Jr., MB, 5-8).

Outlook: The Mavericks have a full varsity season in the books, and a year older and wiser should help them on the court. The program is deep and growing, and some strides were made over the summer. There is one senior on the roster, and she will be assisted by a talented group of juniors and sophomores.


Coach: Enhui Chu, 2nd year

Last year: 22-4, 10-1 in 5A Front Range; eliminated in 5A regionals

Returning starters: Reilly Humphrey (Sr., S, 5-3), Addy Lofstedt (Jr., OH, 5-9), Lexi Pike (Sr., L, 5-7), Hannah Safari (Sr., OH, 5-9).

Others to watch: Willow Brook (Sr., MB, 6-3), Kendall Peterson (Sr., MB, 6-0), Kennedy Selby (Fr., RS, 5-10).

Outlook: The Coyotes have won the past two league titles and have their eyes set on a third. The goal is for consistency on defense, and if they can keep the ball in the air, a talented offense led by two returning outside hitters can take care of the rest. The top of the lineup is experienced and very familiar with each other.


Coach: Aubray McLain, 1st year

Last year: 7-13, 1-10 in 2A Mile High League; eliminated in 2A districts

Returning starters: Kabita Ghale (Jr., L/DS), Dayna Larsen (Jr., MB/OH), Skylin Pancoast (Jr., L/DS), Danica Vigil (Jr., S), Danielle Wood (Sr., RS).

Others to watch: Amanda Cook (So., S/OH), Bri Lindstrom (Fr., DS/L), Maggie Rockett (Fr., S).

Outlook: Some growing pains are to be expected along the way, but the lessons learned will serve the program well in the coming years. Along with a strong group of junior starters, the setter from the JV team and some notable freshmen will round out the top group.


Coach: Chris Koerner, 2nd year

Last year: 7-12, 4-10 in 4A Northern Conference

Returning starters: Tara Buck (Sr., OH), Becca Chavez (Sr., S/RS), Katie Meek (Sr., MB), Jacqui Sigg (Jr., DS/L), Julia Vaiser (Jr, OH).

Others to watch: Mandi Newton (Sr., DS/L), Renee Plomondon (Jr., OH), Meghan Richard (So, S/RS), Emily Stagnitti (Sr., RS/DS), Julia Teta (Sr., MB).

Outlook: The Cougars are loaded with upperclassmen, including six seniors, and the general mood is one of optimism. A second year in Koerner’s system should help, and the biggest obstacle to overcome will be in believing they can win a match in that decisive fifth set.


Coach: Pam Bergeland, 1st year

Last year: 12-9, 5-5 in 3A Metropolitan League; eliminated in 3A districts

Returning starters: Amy Haberthier (Jr., S, 5-8), Ashton Hougen (Sr., DS, 5-7), Chandler Johnson (Sr., OH, 5-8).Others to watch: Kaelyn Powers (Fr., MH, 5-7), Kaela Siahpush (Jr., L, 5-4), Annette Warner (So., MH, 6-0).

Outlook: The motto for the season is Discipline Determines Destiny, which means this team will have to put in the work during practice and throughout a long season if it wants to see positive results. The Pumas are not overly tall, so they will need to scramble for every ball.


Coach: Erin and Mike Lawinski, 6th year

Last year: 4-9; eliminated in 1A districts

Returning starters: Courtney Kibiloski (Jr., S), Sarah Levine (Sr., MB), Taylor Morrow (Sr., S), Gretchen Smith (Sr., OH), Heather Smith (Sr., OH).

Others to watch: n/a

Outlook: The Lions figure to be competitive in league though a few graduates will have to be replaced in the starting lineup. The roster does not feature much height, so the defense will need to be active to keep the team in games.


Coach: Nicholle Chambers, 2nd year

Last year: 17-8, 9-5 in 4A Northern Conference; eliminated in 4A regionals

Returning starters: Margaret Davis (So., L, 5-5), Samantha Hertzog (Sr., RS, 5-8), Emily Lyneis (Sr., OH/S, 5-9), Kayla Marchus (Sr., MB, 5-7), McKensy Monier (Sr., OH, 5-11), Chloe Storaci (Sr., S, 5-6).

Others to watch: n/a

Outlook: With Lyneis and Monier working on the outside, the Raptors should bring a high-powered offense to each match. After making great strides as a program during Chambers’ first season, the team has set higher goals for itself this year.


Coach: Will Rozum, 3rd year

Last year: 22-5, 13-1 in 4A Tri-Valley; lost in opening round of 4A state tournament

Returning starters: None

Others to watch: Naomi Barron (Fr., MB, 5-10), Chelsey Curtis (Sr., S, 5-8), Deandra Elcock (Jr., DS, 5-6), Kelsi Fleming (Sr., OH, 5-10).

Outlook: Fleming is the only player who returns with varsity experience after a large and talented senior class graduated, but the newcomers have spent time in the program and know what is expected of them. Some time will be needed for development, but the Falcons won’t roll over for anyone.

Brady Delander, Times-Call