There was a Mile High City trip, of sorts, after all for Ignacio Volleyball.
Chrystianne Valdez, however, had to pack a team’s worth of energy – previously reserved for a possible drive to the Denver Coliseum and berth in the now-completed 2A State Championships – and do the representing herself with and against the classification’s best at the 2015 Colorado Coaches of Girls’ Sports All-State Games.
Her ability recognized in action at regionals in Ridgway by Paonia head coach Krista Carsten (whose Lady Eagles eliminated IHS), the senior libero – named First Team All-San Juan Basin League – was to be the starter on the Carsten-led 2A-Blue crew against the 2A-Red on Sunday, Nov. 22, up at Arvada West High School.
Results were unfortunately unavailable at press time.
Also tabbed for the senior-showcase event’s team were PHS setter Taylor Carsten and Rye setter Jenna Mansfield, giving Valdez two teammates against whom the Volleycats had gone head-to-head this fall. That number increased to three with RHS’ Kaitlyn Rutherford – who led the Lady Demons to a repeat Coliseum appearance, though as a wild card after losing the regional title to Paonia – getting Carsten’s nod.
The Blues’ attack was also to be led by Loveland Resurrection Christian’s Abby Skipworth – she and the Lady Cougars denied a third consecutive State Championship this year by Yuma – and PHS’ Ashley VanVleet, as well as Edwards Vail Christian’s Taylor Alexander, Fowler’s Brianna Hobby and Cedaredge’s Kenzie Henderson.
Alternates for the 10:30 a.m. match’s designated “home” team were to be VC’s Remy Beveridge, RC’s Maddi McDaniel, Haxtun’s Megan Gerk, and Greeley Union Colony’s Cali Bahnsen. Three rally-scoring games were to be played to a winning 25-point total in each, with a hard cap set at 30.
GOOD TO MEET YOU: It was probably quite unique for Valdez to suit up alongside Skipworth.
Since a loss to Parker Lutheran at the 2012 State Championships, Resurrection Christian went on an amazing undefeated run which finally ended midway through the 2015 campaign – Oct. 6 in four games at 4A Johnstown Roosevelt, to be precise – at 70 consecutive victories.
The five-game loss to YHS in the grand finale then left RC with an 85-2 overall record during the last three seasons, but a 42-0 mark in the 2A/1A Mile High League during the last four (in which the program, since Skipworth’s arrival, is 104-9) after a regular season-ending loss to Greeley Dayspring Christian in 2011.
ALSO SALUTED: Valdez wasn’t the lone Cat recognized by the SJBL following Ignacio’s 15-9 season. Sophomore setter Shoshone Thompson was named Second Team All-League, as was junior middle Kelly Campbell, according to information given by head coach Thad Cano. A full list, likely headed by Player-of-the-Year favorite Rutherford, had not been submitted by press time.