Volleycats’ run all done
Written by: By Joel Priest
The Meeker High School streak officially ended Ignacio’s outstanding 2012.
“Congratulations to the Ignacio volleyball team for making it to regionals!” said MHS head coach Christy Atwood, whose team had earned a long-sought trip themselves last season. “It’s something special for those girls. And there’s nothing that can really take the sting out of a loss that ends a season, but…to be able to make it is special.”
Playing their sixth consecutive match of four or five games, the Volleycats had been pressed into a must-win, help-required scenario after falling in four (23-25, 13-25, 25-22, 18-25) to the host Lady Miners. Senior Scout Franklin put down 17 kills for head coach Fawnda Rogers—opposing Thad Cano in a meeting of SJBL Coach-of-the-Year frontrunners—and junior Erin Kean had nine kills and eight digs.
Senior Sarah Wontrobski had 20 assists, splitting setting duties with junior Carson Brumley (13), and also nine digs—just behind senior Shelby Brier and sophomore Mikaela Balkind, who each had ten.
Their record finalized at 15 up, 9 down—after going 7-11 in 2011—Ignacio recovered well against Meeker with hard-fought 25-22 wins in Games 1 and 2. But as MHS’ defending improved, the Volleycats’ performance began to falter—starting with a 19-25 loss in Game 3.
“The thing we’ve been working on,” said Atwood, “is not to look at the end result. We play to play. The first two didn’t mean we were done by any means…we could still win if we put our minds to it.”
Senior Jordan Brown led the Lady Cowboys’ net patrol with four solo blocks and one assisted, and classmates Amanda Kendall and Kaysyn Chintala each registered five block assists. Chintala also came up with 17 digs defensively and 34 assists offensively, fueling MHS’ two-way work.
“Shortest girl on the team,” Atwood said, “but can jump out of the gym. She’s fun to watch.”
Junior Aly Ridings posted a 21-dig, 14-kill double-double, senior Bailey Atwood had 19 digs and seven kills, and Brown booked five and seven as Meeker (18-8 overall) handled Ignacio 25-14 in Game 4, and maxed out the voltage of the shocker with a 15-6 Game 5 win.
“She’s phenomenal,” Atwood said of IHS senior Michelle Simmons—Meeker’s major must-stop target, “but they’re all scrappy players. There were these rallies where, you know, there were 16, 18 touches before anyone scored. We had a hard time getting balls down to the floor!”
Volleycat stats had not been reported by the Times’ print deadline, and Cano could not be reached.