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A look at the three local teams ready to compete at the state volleyball tournament Friday and Saturday at the Denver Coliseum. Pool play begins at 8 a.m. both days, with matches to run in succession as they are completed. Teams that advance out of pool play will compete in the state semifinals Saturday afternoon, with the championship games slated for 7 p.m. Saturday.


FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Class 5A Pool IV

Coach: Brooke Simmons

Record: 23-2

State schedule: Fairview vs. Rampart, Friday, 8 a.m.; Fairview vs. Chaparral, Saturday, 8 a.m.

Notes: Fairview is one of the few teams in the five state tournaments that knows exactly when it will hit the courts. The Knights play in the opening 8 a.m. game on both days … This is Fairview’s first state tournament appearance since 1998 … The Knights certainly will have to earn a trip to the state semifinals. Chaparral is a perennial power that won consecutive 5A titles in 2010 and 2011. Rampart put together a 21-4 mark and finished one game behind league champion Pine Creek in the Colorado Springs Metro League … Senior Bailey MacInnis (228) and sophomore Caroline Schmiedeler (225) lead the Knights in kills … Sophomore Audrey Cheng has directed the Fairview attack with an average of 7.8 assists per set.


MEAD MAVERICKS

Class 4A Pool II

Coach: Nicole Tycksen

Record: 21-4

State schedule: Mead vs. Ponderosa, seventh 4A game Friday; Mead vs. Niwot, third 4A game Saturday.

Notes: Mead is making its first appearance at state after defeating Evergreen and Montezuma-Cortez to win the Region 7 tournament … The Tri-Valley League champion Mavericks are the seventh overall seed in 4A … Six different players have compiled at least 100 kills for Mead, an attack paced by Maddie Uilk (214) … Mavericks sophomore Macy Bourn’s 58 aces ranks sixth in 4A … Seniors Uilk (95 blocks) and Kari Lozinski (86) form a formidable defensive tandem at the net … Senior Kailey Klibbe also is a solid defender for the Mavericks, recording a team-leading 449 digs. That total ranks sixth in all of 4A.

 

NIWOT COUGARS

Class 4A Pool II

Coach: Preston Brown

Record: 19-5

State schedule: Niwot vs. Ponderosa, third 4A match Friday; Niwot vs. Mead, third 4A match Saturday

Notes: Making their first state appearance since 1997 — “We’ve figured out it was the year most of our players were born,” quipped Niwot coach Preston Brown — the Cougars are seeded 11th overall in 4A … Niwot posted wins against Delta (3-1) and Elizabeth (3-0) to win the Region 11 tournament last weekend … Niwot played at Ponderosa’s Mustang Classic two weekends ago but did not face the hosts, suffering 2-0 losses against 5A tournament teams Chatfield and Eaglecrest … Senior Cori Kirschling leads Niwot with 343 kills, but the Cougars’ return to state has been a team-wide endeavor. Freshman Mackenzie Fidelak leads the club with 56 blocks, senior Maeve McCarthy owns a team-leading 324 digs, and setter Jennifer Townsend has posted 681 assists.

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