Yuma volleyball headed back to Rye, again

It is back to Rye again for the Yuma Volleyball Team.
Yuma, 11-12, is the 25th seed in the 36-team Class 2A regional field. The former Indians are headed to 12th-seed Rye for Region 12, which also includes 13th-seed North Fork. It will be Saturday, the same time when the Rye football team is in Yuma for a playoff game. Yuma plays Rye at 12 noon, then takes on North Fork immediately following.

“The girls are used to going to Rye, so at least we know what the gym looks like and what the drive is like,” coach Jamie Robinson said.
Yuma’s girls played at Rye for regional volleyball in 2019, and again later that school year in basketball right at the cusp of the COVID-19 outbreak. They again went there last March for basketball regional. (Yuma won the 2019 volleyball regional, but did not advance on its last two trips to Rye, located south of Pueblo.)
Saturday will present another challenge for the Yuma girls. Rye enters regional with a 16-6 record. The Thunderbolts were 11-2 in the Santa Fe League, losing only to Fowler, which is the fourth seed in regional. North Fork, a new school that combined Hotchkiss and Paonia, went 17-5 in the regular season, including 11-3 in the Western Slope, finishing third.
Yuma finished sixth in the nine-team Lower Platte Activities Association. Three of the LPAA’s 2A schools are hosting a regional. Wiggins is the top seed and hosts Olathe and Calhan. Sedgwick County is the second seed, and hosts West Grant and Crowley County, and Holyoke got in as the eighth seed, hosting Hoehne and Addenbrooke Classical Academy.
In 1A, Merino is the top seed, hosting Eads and Sangre de Cristo for regional. Haxtun is the 15th seed and goes to second-seed Kit Carson.
“Our league is tough and we have an amazing representation for regionals,” Robinson said, “and hopefully it will be the same for state.”
Yuma did close out the regular season in dramatic fashion, rallying for a five-set win over 3A Northridge, last Saturday afternoon in The Pit — 23-25, 20-25, 25-13, 25-14, 15-12.
The first set was close throughout, but Yuma kept finding itself trailing by one to three points. The set was tied at 23 when Northridge got the final two points. Yuma then dropped the next set and it looked like it might be a quick afternoon in The Pit.
However, the former Indians then turned it around. They raced out to a 12-3 lead in the third set, then went ahead 18-5 while on their way to a 12-point win. They did the same in the fourth set, building a 13-9 lead, then scoring the last seven points for a 25-14 win.
Yuma fell behind 1-5 in the deciding fifth set, but then scored six straight for a 6-5 lead. Yuma eventually pulled away for the three-point win, claiming the match and finishing the regular season on an exciting note.
“It was great to get a win in The Pit for our last home game,” Robinson said.
Caddis Robinson finished the match with 20 kills, including the match winner, while Jailyn Mekelburg had 14, Lyndsey Mekelburg seven, Emma Rayl seven, Lea Richardson three, Lauren Gonzales two, and Chloe Smith and Alina Moran one each. Rayl had 23 setting assists, Robinson 10, Richardson and Gonzales six each, and L. Mekelburg five. L. Mekelburg was 22-22 in serve receive. Liddy Day and Rayl led in digs with more than 20 each. Day was 30-30 serving with three aces, Rayl 21-22 with two aces, L. Mekelburg 16-16 with two aces, Robinson 15-16, Gonzales 13-14, and Smith 6-7 with one ace.
Yuma also played at 3A Resurrection Christian, last Wednesday in Loveland. While the Cougars are not quite the power they were a few years ago, they certainly had enough height and power to roll past Yuma in three sets, 15-25, 11-25, 15-25. Resurrection Christian had 47 kills to Yuma’s 19.
Yuma got eight kills from Robinson, three from J. Mekelburg, and two each from Rayl, Richardson, L. Mekelburg, and Gonzales. Richardson had six setting assists, and five each by Rayl and Robinson.
L. Mekelburg was 8-8 serving, Rayl 8-8, Robinson 7-8, Day 6-7, Alina Moran 5-7, Gonzales 3-3, and J. Mekelburg 1-1 with one ace.