PREP VOLLEYBALL
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The Lewis-Palmer Rangers defeated the Palmer Ridge Bears in three straight sets in girls' volleyball on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at Lewis-Palmer High School. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

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State volleyball brackets unveiled for first time

Double-elimination, Olympic-style crossover brackets, not pool-play schedules, were released Sunday for this weekend’s state volleyball tournaments in the Denver Coliseum.

For the first time, 12 teams in each class will compete in the bracket format, which was long sought after.

The top four teams get a bye.

Four Pikes Peak region teams reached the 4A tournament; Lewis-Palmer, the two-time defending champs, earned the top seed, while Discovery Canyon came in at No. 2. Palmer Ridge (8) and Cheyenne Mountain (11) also qualified for the event, which starts Thursday.

CSCS defended its home court to win its region tournament and is seeded sixth in the state 3A draw.

Once teams reach the semifinals, the tournament will be single-elimination.

4A locals once again represent in boys’ soccer playoffs

Programs close to home once again have journeyed far in the 4A state soccer playoffs.

For the seventh consecutive season, at least one area 4A boys’ team has reached the semifinals. On Wednesday at Aurora’s Legacy Stadium, defending champ Air Academy will play Glenwood Springs at 5 p.m., followed by the nightcap featuring The Classical Academy, the 2016 state champ, taking on Denver North.

Last year, Air Academy – which beat TCA in the 2014 state final – eliminated the Titans in the semifinal round en route to hoisting the gold ball three days later.

TCA is shooting for the program’s fifth berth in the state finals in the past six seasons.

In addition, Palmer Ridge (2012) and Cheyenne Mountain (2013, 2015) also previously advanced to the state semifinals.

Babb wins two individual 4A state gymnastics titles

Two years ago, Rampart’s Ciera Babb made history by becoming her school’s first gymnastics state champion.

On Saturday, she did one better, claiming vault and uneven bars titles at the 4A state championships held at Thornton High School.

During the finals, Babb, a senior, recorded a 9.5 on the vault and 9.4 on the uneven bars, both 0.2 points clear of the closest competitor.

In 2016, Babb took top honors on the balance beam.

Pine Creek again top seed in 4A

For the second consecutive year and fourth time in the past five seasons, Pine Creek earned the No. 1 seed for the 4A state football playoffs.

The Eagles (9-1), whose only loss came at 5A Valor Christian, will host No. 16 Heritage at 7 p.m. Friday at District 20 Stadium. Over the past five seasons, Pine Creek has won three state championships (2013-14 and 2016), lost in the title game (2017) and also advanced to the semifinals (2015).

The Eagles’ D-20 rival, Rampart, is the area’s only other representative in the 4A bracket. The Rams, despite a 28-21 loss at Pueblo West on Friday, remained in the top 16 and finished No. 15 in the final Ratings Percentage Index. The Rams travel to No. 2 and undefeated Loveland at 7 p.m. Friday.

In 3A, a quarter of the playoff teams come from the Pikes Peak region, led by No. 4 Palmer Ridge, the reigning 3A state champions, followed by No. 5 Harrison, No. 7 Discovery Canyon and No. 15 Lewis-Palmer.

Three of the 3A first-round games featuring area teams were scheduled as of Sunday: L-P will travel south to play Pueblo East at 7 p.m. Friday at Dutch Clark Stadium, while Palmer Ridge hosts Pueblo South at Don Breese Stadium, and Discovery Canyon meets Frederick at D20 Stadium, both at 1 p.m. Saturday.

In addition, Pikes Peak Christian (8-man), along with Peyton and CSCS (1A) will host playoff games this weekend.

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