Published: October 28, 2013
Manitou Springs won all 23 of its regular-season matches, the only 3A team to run the table in 2013.
Yet, according to MaxPreps, the Mustangs are 3A's the third-best team - behind 21-1 Eaton and 18-5 Valley - heading into this weekend's regional tournaments.
As a top-12 seed, Manitou Springs will host one of a dozen three-team tournaments in classes 3A-5A. But to be ranked behind Eaton, a team Manitou Springs beat head-to-head earlier, left coach Carol Benedict a little confused.
"We feel they should not be ahead of us, but everything is done by computer," Benedict said. "When we fell to No. 3 last week, we weren't surprised that we stayed there for the regional seedings. We just have to beat whoever we play and make it to state."
A total of 18 Pikes Peak region schools earned spots in regionals, which take place Friday or Saturday. In each tournament, each team plays twice, with the region's top squad advancing to the state tournament in Denver next weekend.
Besides Manitou Springs, seven area schools earned home court, led by Lewis-Palmer (21-2), the region's only No. 1 seed. The Rangers, along with fellow Pikes Peak Athletic Conference teams Cheyenne Mountain (20-3), the five-time defending 4A state champs, and Air Academy (18-4), will play at home as the third and seventh seeds, respectively.
"It's the most competitive our league has ever been," longtime Lewis-Palmer coach Susan Odenbaugh said. "Our strength of schedule is part of the reason we're ranked No.?1, and that's going to help us. We're going have to handle the pressure and high expectations of being the top seed."
Defending 5A champion Doherty (18-5) earned a home-court regional as a No. 5 seed, as did Metro League schools Rampart (18-5) and Pine Creek (17-6), tabbed as No. 9 and 12 seeds, respectively.
In 2A, Colorado Springs School (21-2) earned a top seed in one of eight regional tournaments. Peyton also qualified and is ranked third in the CSS regional.
Four other 3A teams will hit the road: No. 15 Colorado Springs Christian (Machebeuf), No. 18 The Classical Academy (University), No. 32 St. Mary's (Holy Family) and No. 36 James Irwin (Eaton).
In 4A, No. 20 Coronado and No. 32 Canon City (Battle Mountain), No. 23 Palmer Ridge (Longmont) and No. 25 Mesa Ridge (Valor Christian) travel to seek state berths. In 5A, No. 32 Palmer heads to fifth-seeded Mountain Vista, while No. 34 Liberty will play at a regional hosted by No. 3 Fossil Ridge.