Hayden volleyball set for long day at district tournament Saturday

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— The bracket for the District 5 volleyball tournament was released Wednesday after Tuesday night’s games cut the field of schools roughly in half.

Whether the layout looks like a long, unsettling day or a potential march to glory for the Hayden High School volleyball team depends on one’s perspective.

The Tigers will play in the first and last matches of the all-day tournament set this year to take place Saturday at Soroco High School in Oak Creek.

The Rams were eliminated from the weekend via a five-set home loss at the hands of Meeker on Tuesday night, but Routt County’s other Class 2A volleyball squad, Hayden, has a road made treacherous by the Tigers’ drastic regular-season swings.

Hayden will open play at 9 a.m. against Meeker. It will play at 11:45 a.m. against Rangely and wrap up the day’s action at 3:45 p.m. against Paonia. As the No. 2 seed, the Tigers seem to have a good chance to be one of the two teams to advance from the day’s action, qualifying for the regional tournament, a four-team bash likely to take place Nov. 5.

There’s little risk of overconfidence wrecking the team, however. Hayden hasn’t beaten any of the three other teams that will participate in Saturday’s round-robin action. It finished second in a muddled division and on Tuesday beat West Grand for the third time this season to advance to Oak Creek.

The Tigers again have to finish atop a closely matched batch of teams and win some revenge matches if they’re to continue their season.

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