Volleyball: First-year coaches lead several area teams to state

  • Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera

    Sydney Blackburn, right, and the Mead Mavericks volleyball team will get another shot at a state title after qualifying for a second consecutive season, this time under first-year coach Michael Dumler.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Cree Lawrence, pictured, and the Fairview volleyball team will be making their second consecutive state tournament appearance Friday, this time under first-year head coach Kelsey Spencer.



For the area volleyball teams who will be competing at the CHSAA state tournaments Friday and Saturday, there’s a unique bond between most of them — something of which they likely aren’t even aware.

First-year varsity coaches at Fairview, Mead, Holy Family and Lyons all have made the difficult charge with their teams toward the Denver Coliseum still eyeing a state championship.

Five of those state titles will be presented Saturday night, and the Knights’ Kelsey Spencer, Mead’s Michael Dumler, Holy Family’s Krista Solomon and Lyons’ Mason Johnson are in a position to capture those elusive trophies in their first year with their respective varsity programs.

Two more local teams, Longmont and Silver Creek, are in the mix, as well.

Solomon came to the Tigers from Class 1A Community Christian School in Northglenn, a program that also had several successful seasons. None, however, have come close to HFHS’ 22-3 mark and a No. 4 seed in the Class 4A tournament.

Each 12-team tournament begins with four pools of three teams, and the Tigers share a pool with Montrose and Evergreen. Pool play starts Friday morning at 8 a.m. and ends Saturday morning, and only pool winners advance to the semifinals.

“This is my first run at state, even after all these years, so I’ve really tried not to look too far ahead,” Solomon said Friday. “We were focused on the regional tournament and that was the kind of fight we needed to prepare us for the state tournament.

“We know we’re going to see the five seed and nine seed in that first round. So whoever wins that pool should face the one seed in the semis but that’s not a bad spot for us to be in.”

The regional tournaments were good challenges for Fairview, Mead and Silver Creek — each of who had to win two matches on another team’s court.

The courts are now neutral but the challenge is as difficult for all teams as it has been all year.

Adam Dunivan: dunivana@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/AdamDunivan24

CHSAA state volleyball tournaments

Nov. 13-14, Denver Coliseum

Pool winner advances to semifinals

Class 5A

Pool I

(1) Chatfield vs. (12) Coronado

(1) Chatfield vs. (8) Fairview, Friday

(8) Fairview vs. (12) Coronado, Saturday

Pool II

(2) Cherokee Trail vs. (11) Regis Jesuit

(2) Cherokee Trail vs. (7) Cherry Creek

(7) Cherry Creek vs. (11) Regis Jesuit

Pool III

(3) Chaparral vs. (10) Denver East

(3) Chaparral vs. (6) Grandview

(6) Grandview vs. (10) Denver East

Pool IV

(4) Rock Canyon vs. (9) Arapahoe

(4) Rock Canyon vs. (5) Legend

(5) Legend vs. (9) Arapahoe


Immediately following completion of third pool play match Saturday.


Saturday, 7 p.m.

Class 4A

Pool I

(1) Cheyenne Mountain vs. (12) Silver Creek, Friday

(1) Cheyenne Mountain vs. (8) Delta

(8) Delta vs. (12) Silver Creek, Saturday

Pool II

(2) Lewis-Palmer vs. (11) Mead, Friday

(2) Lewis-Palmer vs. (7) Windsor

(7) Windsor vs. (11) Mead, Saturday

Pool III

(3) Ponderosa vs. (10) Berthoud

(3) Ponderosa vs. (6) Longmont, Friday

(6) Longmont vs. (10) Berthoud, Saturday

Pool IV

(4) Holy Family vs. (9) Evergreen, Friday

(4) Holy Family vs. (5) Montrose, Friday

(5) Montrose vs. (9) Evergreen


Immediately following completion of pool play Saturday.


Saturday, 7 p.m.

Class 2A

Pool I

(1) Resurrection Christian vs. (12) Fowler

(1) Resurrection Christian vs. (8) Ridgway

(8) Ridgway vs. (12) Fowler

Pool II

(2) Yuma vs. (11) Kiowa

(2) Yuma vs. (7) Cedaredge

(7) Cedaredge vs. (11) Kiowa

Pool III

(3) Lyons vs. (10) Colorado Springs School, Friday

(3) Lyons vs. (6) Limon, Friday

(6) Limon vs. (10) Colorado Springs School

Pool IV

(4) Paonia vs. (9) Rye

(4) Paonia vs. (5) Union Colony

(5) Union Colony vs. (9) Rye


Immediately following completion of third pool play match Saturday.


Saturday, 7 p.m