5A COLORADO SPRINGS METRO LEAGUE
Coach: Julie Ward, 1st season
Last year: 23-5 (6-0 5A CSML)
Returning athletes: Anna Griffin, Jr., DS; Lacey Redinger, Sr., setter; Becca Rug, Sr., OH; Kailey Stanley, Sr., DS/OH
Outlook: “I’m excited to have a young team and watch them grow into a great upper class next year,” Ward said. “I’m also excited for our seniors to become leaders on the court.”
Notes: Ward inherits a successful Coronado program that has not had fewer than 17 wins in a season since 2010. Ward takes over for Stormie Wells who coached the Cougars for two seasons.
Coach: Erin Stone, 1st season
Last year: 8-15 (1-5 5A CSML)
Returning athletes: Lauren Endres, Sr., OH; Bailey Gifford, Sr., OH; Hope Hines, Sr., OH/S; Hanna Nachtigal, Sr., S; Carlee Reed, Sr., libero/ DS; Leilani Washington, Sr., MB; Allyson Wolfe, Sr., S
Other top athletes: Abby Hutchinson, Sr., MB; Zoe Olson, jr., Libero/ DS
Outlook: “I’m excited to start working with this group of girls! They’re excited and ready to work hard,” Stone said. “They’re ready to move mountains and I’m so ready to help them do it!”
Notes: Stone moves up from five years coaching with the C Squad and JV. She takes over for Lauren Tekavec who reigned after two seasons.
Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans
Coach: Nicole Johnson, 2nd season
Last year: 8-14 (0-6 5A CSML)
Returning athletes: Deja Deborja, Sr., DS; Jaleesa Fuller, Sr., OH/MH; Mikayla Halmos, Sr., DS; Alexis Prowell, Sr., OH; Angelle Soleau, Sr., DS
Other top athletes: Danae Christenson, Jr., MB; Tauja Durham, Jr., MB
Outlook: “Our junior middle hitters will add to our offensive competitiveness,” Johnson said.
Notes: Fountain-Fort Carson will look to make a jump in the 5A CSML after finishing the 2017 winless in league play.
Coach: Amy Adams, 4th season
Last year: 12-11 (3-3 5A CSML)
Returning athletes: Kita Elsner, Sr., Libero; Karina Florek, Sr., OH; Sophie Lewis, Sr., MH; Erin McDonald, Sr., DS/OH; Samantha Peachey, Jr., Setter/RH;Brooklyn Romero, Sr., MH
Other top athletes: Madison Bradshaw-Guida, Sr., DS; Katie DiMarino, Sr., DS/OH; Sasha Elsner, So., OH; Kanita Hrustanovic, Sr., Katelyn McMoore, Jr., OH; MH/RH; Allie Rice, Fr., Setter; Janelle Slocum, Jr., DS
Outlook: “Our varsity volleyball team is stacked with talent that is very versatile,” Adams said. “The players are able to adjust to many different scenarios and capitalize on opportunities. I am excited to see every player out there on the court and I know they are ready to make a statement for the Liberty volleyball program.”
Notes: Although the Lancers lost five seniors to graduation, Liberty returns one of its best offensive threats in rising senior Karina Florek, who had 102 kills last season. Florek was also the team’s top blocker with 105 total blocks.
Coach: Adrianne Dettler, 13th season
Last year: 17-8 (3-3 5A CSML)
Returning athletes: Eva Farrell, Jr., M; Evonne Rodriguez, Sr., DS/L, Ryan Santos, Sr., RS/OH; Sara Schloesser, Jr., Setter
Outlook: “We are still a pretty young team, with good experience and the girls get along while still being competitive,” Dettler said.
Notes: Schloesser and Farrell were the only two sophomores on the roster in 2017, and led the team in sets played with 78. The Terrors lost five seniors to graduation.
Pine Creek Eagles
Coach: Molly Stowers, 2nd season
Last year: 9-16 (3-3 5A CSML)
Returning athletes: Alyssa Adkins, Jr., S; Kaitlyn Cid, Sr., DS; Jacquelyn Cleary, Sr., OH; Faith Horton, Jr., Lib; Chandler Nelson, Sr., S; Savannah Nott, Sr., Opp; Anna Ruff, Sr., MB; Gabrielle Wilson, Jr., OH
Other top athletes: Mia Aigner, Jr., OH;Mack Coker, Jr., MB; Emma Genrich, Jr., MB; Janaya Sims, Sr., MB; Brittney White, Sr., OH
Outlook: “We have a solid team this year of seniors and juniors that are ready to lead on the court,” Stowers said.
Coach: Nikki Bloeman, 5th season
Last year: 15-10 (5-1 5A CSML)
Returning athletes: Emily Ellis, Sr., MB; Haley Johnson, Sr., MB; Haley McCorkle, Sr., Setter; Grace Wilkinson, Jr., LIB; Abby Wolverton, Sr., OH
Other top athletes: Paige Petty, Sr., OH; Riley Simpson, So., OH
Outlook: “With 10 seniors, this will be a group that has a lot of leadership and depth,” Bloeman said. “A lot of these girls haven’t played together a whole lot, which will create a new look for our team.”
Notes: The volleyball team will be the first to break in Rampart’s newly renovated gymnasium.
4A COLORADO SPRINGS METRO LEAGUE
Canon City Tigers
Coach: Ben Cline, 9th season
Last year: 13-12 (6-2 4A CSML)
Returning athletes: Sydney Hutchison, Sr., OPP; Makenna Sawyer, Sr., MH; Kyndal Smith, Sr., DS; Kate Tedquist, Jr., OH
Outlook: “After graduating 10 seniors from last year’s squad, this feels brand new,” Cline said. “I’m excited to see how the kids respond.”
Notes: The Tigers finished third in the CSML last year … Hutchinson and Sawyer are the only returning players that played in all 77 sets in 2017. Sawyer was ranked third on the team with 105 kills last year.
The Classical Academy Titans
Coach: Kiyo Greene, 5th season
Last year: 13-11 (7-1 4A CSML)
Returning athletes: Bethany Harris, So., S; Graysen Kraft, Jr., MH; Hope Storm, So., S; Katelyn Strickland, Sr., DS; Cayla Wilburn, Sr., OH/RS; Alexis Wilcox, Sr., Libero
Outlook: “Although several seniors were lost, as well as some transfers, I’m looking forward to working with several young girls and some who are inexperienced as far as varsity play goes,” Greene said. “It’s going to be a growing year and I’m very excited to see how much we change and improve.”
Notes: TCA lost four seniors, including offensive leader Raegan Bervig, to graduation … Storm led the Titans in aces last year with 54.
Coach: Shawn Novak, 1st season
Last year: 9-16 (7-1 4A CSML)
Outlook: “I know that quite a few seniors graduated last year which means we will have a lot of new players,” Novak said. “This is exciting because it will give us the chance to try some new things with our team.”
Notes: Novak takes over the program from former coach Lori McCoin … “I am new to Elizabeth and the volleyball program so I am still learning about my team,” Novak said.
Mesa Ridge Grizzlies
Coach: Grace Neal, 3rd season
Last year: 6-17 (3-5 4A CSML)
Returning athletes: Madison Andert, Jr., DS/Libero; Mia Green, Sr., DS/Outside; Monet Hubbard, Jr., Setter/RS; Angelina Jackson, Sr., Outside; Kylie Lenberg, Sr., Middle; Sarah Machin, Jr., Setter; Kiara Nelson, So., Middle/RS; Annalise Ortiz, Sr., Right Side; Lauryn Vineland, Jr., Outside
Other top athletes: Anissia Wong, So., Middle/RS
Outlook: “We have a lot of depth in positions. All the girls are really open minded and willing to do what is best for the team at any given time,” Neal said. “They work really well together and that will only get better!”
Notes: Mesa Ridge lost just three seniors to graduation, and return its biggest offensive threat in Kylie Lenberg who led the team in kills with 137 last year.
Coach: Steven Lacy, 11th season
Last year: 9-14 (3-5 4A CSML)
Returning athletes: Mikaelah Lewis, Sr.; Tionna Moss, Sr.; Gya’ni Sami, Sr.
Outlook: “We are a rebuilding team that will be led by 2 under-the-radar, powerhouse hitters,” Lacy said. “I know we are about to surprise some teams this year as we have our sights on joining the playoff scene for the first time in about 15 years.”
Notes: The Stallions lost nine seniors to graduation and with just five underclassmen on last year’s roster, Sierra will have some new faces on the court … Sami and Moss were two of the top contributors last year as underclassmen. Sami led the team with 176 kills, Moss had 97.
Woodland Park Panthers
Coach: Stacy Roshek, 11th season
Last year: 8-15 (4-4 4A CSML)
Returning athletes: Delaney Battin, Jr., OH; Teagan Couch, Sr., libero; Kourtney Cox, Sr., OH; Sarah Garner, Jr., MB; Kylee Newsome, Sr., setter
Other top athletes: Trinity McAbee, So., MB
Outlook: “I’m excited to return after taking a break off from coaching last season,” Roshek said. “We have a very experienced team and hope to do well in our league.”
Notes: The Panthers lost just two seniors to graduation, and return a large 2019 class of nine athletes … Garner, a rising junior, led the 2017 squad with 133 kills.
5A/4A PIKES PEAK ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Air Academy Kadets
Coach: Kristen Sciacca, 2nd season
Last year: 13-12 (4-3 PPAC)
Returning athletes: Lyla Hollis-, Jr., Natalia Lambos, So., setter/OH; OH; Hayley Payne, Jr., Setter
Outlook: “Our team this year will be young and raw, and love playing for each other,” Sciacca said. “The girls are hard workers and willing to learn and try new things! I am excited to see all of the growth we will not only make as a team, but the growth each player will make individually.”
Notes: The Kadets enter the 2018 season with no seniors on the roster, but Sciacca says the team has a very strong junior class.
Cheyenne Mountain Indians
Coach: Gail Sanchez, 9th season
Last year: 10-17 (4-3 PPAC)
Outlook: “I’m excited to bring out the most potential in every athlete at every level,” Sanchez said. “We do not carry much height on the team, but we sure are scrappy.”
Notes: The Indians will need to replace the conference’s top scorer in Kinley Coe. Coe led the PPAC with 272 kills last season and graduated in 2018. Her sister Kaelin is a rising junior and had 81 kills as a sophomore … Rising sophomore Jackie Martensen was second on the team in kills last year with 190.
Discovery Canyon Thunder
Coach: Melissa Bravo, 7th season
Last year: 15-12 (4-3 PPAC)
Returning athletes: Sophie Boushell, So., L/DS, Kate Boushell, So., L/DS, Paityn Kramer, So., OH; Hannah Pethtel, Sr., S; Taylor Wanderscheid, Jr., OH/RS; Leah Lester, Jr., OH; Haley Bryant, Sr., OH/RS; Katie Sproul, Jr., S; Tatum Umiamaka, Jr., MB; Ashten Prechtel, Sr., MB
Outlook: “I’m looking forward to going back with this core group of girls and playing our best volleyball against the best in the state,” Bravo said. “Our goal is to win state.”
Notes: The Thunder qualified for the state tournament for the first time in program history last year, and lost just two seniors. This year, Bravo said their aspirations are bigger and better. “Our goal is to win state,” Bravo said.
Coach: Wade Baxter, 2nd season
Last year: 29-0 (7-0 PPAC) 2017 Class 4A State Champions
Returning athletes: Gianna Bartalo, Jr., L; Taylor Buckley, Sr., OH; Emily Coe, Sr., DS; Adelaide Feek, Sr., M; Trinity Jackson, Sr., OH; Kessandra Krutsinger, Sr., M; Danielle Norman, Jr., OH/M/RS; Riley Putnicki, Sr., RS/S; McKenna Sciacca, Sr., S
Outlook: “We are returning virtually our entire front line, setter, and libero from the team that went 29-0 and won the 4A state championship last year,” Baxter said. “We are excited to try to keep the run going with continued success this year. We have a great deal of seniors and they are hungry to cap off their high school careers in style.”
Notes: The Rangers have not lost a match since Nov. 14, 2015 in the 4A state championship against Cheyenne Mountain. Since, Lewis-Palmer has lost just 10 sets and claimed back-to-back 4A state championships … Lewis-Palmer is ranked No. 7 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 poll, listing the top 25 programs in the country as determined by MaxPreps writers.
Sand Creek Scorpions
Coach: Bryre Malone, 6th season
Last year: 4-19 (0-7 5A/4A PPAC)
Returning athletes: Nicole Beuke, Sr., MB/ OPP; Jessica De Leon, Sr., L; Taylor Griffith, Sr., OH; Briaunna Harold, Jr., OH/S; Jennisa Potage, Sr., MB; Abby Ragsdale, Sr., MB; Kristiana Sanchez, Sr., S
Other top athletes: Zoe Gleeson, Sr., OH
Outlook: “My girls have an insatiable thirst for improving their skills," Malone said. "They consistently research new drills they'd like to try for a specific area they know needs improvement. It's pretty impressive to see young athletes recognize their weaknesses and make a conscious effort to strengthen them."
Colorado Springs Christian Lions
Coach: Lori Currier, 6th season
Last year: 13-12 (10-2 3A Tri-Peaks)
Returning athletes: Kiersten Brock, So., Setter; Jubilee Diamond, Jr., OH; Megan Engesser, Sr., Utility; Avery Nelson, Jr., Libero/DS; Cassie Nielson, Sr., RS/MH; Christa Vogt, Sr., MH
Other top athletes: Charleston Tidwell, Jr., OH
Outlook: “We have a fairly young team with lots of energy and enthusiasm for the upcoming season,” Currier said. “They are eager to work hard and improve, and I’m excited to work with them!”
Notes: Charleston Tidwell, a junior, played with Air Academy last year before transferring to CSCS before the spring semester. She is committed to play indoor and beach volleyball at the University of Central Arkansas.
Manitou Springs Mustangs
Coach: Jane Squires, 30th season
Last year: 13-11 (9-3 3A Tri-Peaks)
Returning athletes: Abbie Boren, Sr., S; Belle Brown. Sr., RS; McKayla Cully, Sr., OH; Mahlea Glass, So., DS; Maddie Kelly, Jr., DS; Kylie Middleto, Sr.,OH; Teagan Nevada, Jr., MH; Talia Traxler, Jr., MH
Outlook: “We have three seniors with three years varsity experience and all of our players are back from last year — we had no seniors,” Squires said. “We have depth at each position plus a year of maturity.”
Notes: With no seniors on the 2017 roster, the Mustangs return a full squad with valuable varsity experience — including the league’s No. 3 hitter, McKayla Cully, who led the team with 262 kills last season.
2A BLACK FOREST
Colorado Springs School Kodiaks
Coach: Kyong Lee, 11th season
Last year: 13-12 (7-1 2A District 8)
Returning athletes: Molly Bigbee, Sr., Libero; MH/OH; Hannah Gebhardt, Sr., S; Elise Layton, So., OH; Sarina Mansour, Jr., S; Whitney Richardi, So., MH; Sabryn Shtatman, Sr.,
Outlook: “We are a young but promising team with some upperclassmen in key positions,” Lee said.
Notes: Layton and Richardi played all 82 sets as freshman and enter their sophomore season with a ton of varsity experience. The Kodiaks lost their most productive hitter from last year, Natalie Richardi, to graduation … The Kodiaks will play in the new restructured 2A Black Forest league in 2018.
Coach: Samantha Christian, 1st season
Last year: 2-18 (2-6 2A District 8)
Notes: Christian takes over as head coach and will attempt to rebuild a program that has not had more than five wins in a season since 2013. “I’m excited to improve our team dynamic from last year as a new coach with a new group,” Christian said.
1A DISTRICT 7
Evangelical Christian Eagles
Coach: Becky Kyle, 7th season
Last year: 6-14 (4-4 2A District 8)
Returning athletes: Grace Arnold, Sr., Amy Antes, Jr., Karoline Garwood, Sr., Sydney Hood, So.; Kaley Muth, Sr; Elise Osborne, Jr.
Outlook: “I’m looking forward to getting this competitive and hardworking team on the court!” Kyle said. “This group of athletes truly loves the sport and their passion to grow as a group of friends and athletes excites me. I’m looking forward to great leadership from my seniors and to the opportunity to compete in a new league this season.”
Notes: ECA drops down into Class 1A and will play in District 7. The new District 7 combines six teams from last year’s 1A Black Forest league, and others from around the area.
Note: Teams not listed did not report.
lindsey smith, the gazette