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Volleycats win Pink Digs game
10/4/2012 By: Joel Priest
Recognized Tuesday night inside IHS Gymnasium as the "Queen of the Court" Virginia Sage, center, gets a high-five from Ignacio JV head coach Molly Malarsie while being escorted by Volleycat varsity setter Cloe Seibel (right). Sage was one of six breast cancer survivors and patients honored at the annual event.
Volleyball enthusiasts who came to IHS Gymnasium Tuesday for the closing contest for Pink Digs for the Cure were happy campers — Wolverine and Bobcat fans alike.
It was an evening where reminders of life’s greater battles—including a ‘starting lineup’ of six “All-Star Survivors” — were everywhere. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month again received a proper (and pink) La Plata County welcome.
“The atmosphere…it was amazing,” said IHS libero Angela Herrera. “The crowd, they just sucked in our energy, we sucked in theirs, and together…we were just very loud and supportive. Of each other, and supporting cancer [fighting]; we’re doing this for a big reason, and I feel it’s very important.”
Against BHS’ JV, which had just fallen in four (24-26, 17-25, 25-17, 20-25) to Ignacio’s JV, there was little doubt the fresher squad had the advantage; Ignacio led start-to-finish in a 25-19 first-set victory, and from 4-3 onward to a 25-14 win in Set 2.
“We’ve been talking to the girls on…mainly about their focus,” said Volleycat head coach Thad Cano. “Had a very big discussion on that yesterday, especially since we know Bayfield is a tough-serving team. And they put it together; I’m very proud of them.”
Three straight service aces by Jenna Sirios brought Bayfield back to as close as 20-15 in Set 1, but Simmons crushed a kill through Tessa Powell and Ashlyn Schulder to bring up set point, which was then booked when a Carrie Yost attack sailed long.
An 8-1 run early in Set 2, keyed by four straight BHS miscues and finished by a Simmons smash, put Bayfield behind again to stay, though the visitors did approach as close as 16-12 before a Schulder setting error, a BHS rotation violation and Simmons ace sealed the deal for all practical purposes before a Funkhouser serve went deep and out on set point.
“We started out very strong, and that’s how we need to start out. Every single time!” said Herrera.
BHS had that working in Set 3, but led by only as much as 6-4 before two Mariah Vigil aces put IHS ahead 8-7, with middle Cheyenne Cook then downing a kill to match the Volleycats’ best margin yet. Ignacio soon threatened to separate for good, 13-9 on a Simmons overpass-kill, but Bayfield rallied to tie at 13 and again at 14 on a Jessie Roukema kill.
IHS’ Cloe Seibel kept the count even at 17-17 before Bayfield made a sustained bid to force, at the least, a Set 4. Funkhouser downed a ball for a 22-19 lead, but Ignacio tied at 22 with a tip by Cook—and re-took the lead with another Vigil ace. Powell socked home a kill to re-tie again, but a Cook kill and Seibel tip ended the action, giving the ’Cats their eighth ‘W’ (against just three L’s) already in 2012.
Tonight, the volleycats face Nucla.
“They’re a pretty strong team, so we’re definitely not going to discount anything,” Cano said. “We’ll work hard during practice and let the girls do their thing.”
“All of us have so much potential—and we know we have potential—to go as far as we possibly can,” said Herrera. “Especially for the seniors—it’s their last year of being able to.”
Bayfield’s varsity (12-1, 3-0 Intermountain) went to Monte Vista last night for IML play, with results unavailable at press time. Tomorrow’s game against Piedra Vista is tentatively set for 3 p.m. in Farmington.