Fri Jun 26th, 2015
Special to the Drum
During the downtime following the 2014 season, Ignacio Volleyball head coach Thad Cano enjoyed a chance encounter at the AVCA Annual Convention with, of all people, Karch Kiraly.
If that wasn’t cool enough, Cano will be having one player – hailing from Colorado, in fact – coached by the sport’s icon in town to mentor developing spikers at IHS’ 2015 All-America Volleyball Camp.
Part of the United States’ U-23 squad at the 2013 FIVB Women’s World Championships under Kiraly, with 5A Centennial Eaglecrest star Jordyn Poulter – the nation’s No. 3-rated recruit, set to begin her University of Illinois career this fall as part of the NCAA’s No. 1-rated freshman class, according to PrepVolleyball.com – as a teammate, former 5A Highlands Ranch Mountain Vista and Purdue University standout Ariel Turner will be the event’s featured guest instructor.
Turner led Purdue in kills and kills per game from 2010-12, and in ’12, her senior season, the Boilermakers reached the NCAA Tournament’s ‘Sweet 16’ after starting out ousting Colorado State. Her college career ended with a four-game loss to Minnesota, against whom she booked 25 kills and 16 digs.
Against CSU she became Purdue’s seventh player to join its 1,000-kill, 1,000-dig club, and would finish atop the Boilermakers’ charts in attempts (5,578) and rank second in kills (1,906), and would top everything off by receiving the 2012 Capitol One Academic Volleyball All-American-of-the-Year Award.
Also currently committed to come to Ignacio and offer her insights will be former Long Beach State University middle Michelle Osunbor, who completed her 49ers career in 2011 helping LBSU qualify for a 25th consecutive NCAA Tournament.
During her last two seasons, LBSU went 48-15 overall but was eliminated each year in the Big Dance’s first round by University of San Diego. In the ’11 encounter, LBSU’s blocking was prominent in a four-game defeat; the 49ers tied a season-best with 18 total blocks.
Under 31st-year boss Brian Gimmillaro, Long Beach State’s 2015 roster will also feature a former CHSAA talent in senior outside hitter Alex Reid – a 5A Aurora Grandview alumna who first suited up for the 49ers in 2012, the year after the 6’2” Osunbor and three other seniors saw their final action.
As a Carrollton (Tex.) Hebron senior in ’06, Osunbor was co-Blocker-of-the-Year for UIL District 6-5A, after having helped the Lady Hawks to a 4A State Championship in 2004 and runner-up status in ’05.
More recently she was a coach at Alabama State University in 2013, helping the squad win the SWAC Tournament championship and reach the NCAA’s – prior to signing a pro contract to play in Denmark.
The 6’1” Turner, meanwhile, who in ’12 became Purdue’s first two-time Academic All-America honoree since 1988, has played professionally in France.
The All-America Volleyball camp, priced at $155, runs from July 14-16, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. Parties seeking more information should call Thad Cano at 505-634-6492 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.