Home heavy slate for spikers

Ignacio’s Chrystianne Valdez makes sure her pass is precise during warm-ups before last season’s opener at Kirtland, N.M., Central. Valdez, now a senior coming off an All-SJBL nod last fall, will be essential in 2015—starting when IHS hosts KCHS.
Ignacio’s Thad Cano directs his team’s warm-ups prior to hosting Mancos inside Ignacio Middle School Gymnasium last fall. The ’Cats will be finding themselves back inside IHS Gymnasium in 2015, after splitting home dates between IMS and SunUte Community Center.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

 

Since losing its last match of 2012 to Parker Lutheran – during the process of LHS compiling a 47-match winning streak (presently the 12th-longest in CHSAA annals) – at the State Championships, Loveland Resurrection Christian will enter 2015 atop a 58-match high (fifth-longest all-time) as it seeks a Class 2A three-peat.

Claimed by the Lady Cougars late in last fall’s 29-0 effort, San Juan Basin League stronghold [14-2 against the loop in ’14] Ridgway, which finished 19-6 after a for-pride best-of-three defeat of Sargent inside the Denver Coliseum should, starting in September, again be a barometer for the widespread 2A/1A circuit.

Certain to again put Ignacio to the test, the Lady Demons will fittingly also be the last, large obstacle between the Lady Bobcats and their hard-earned, home-cooked October stretch drive.

Ready to fully re-inhabit IHS Gymnasium after calling both Ignacio Middle School and SunUte Community Center home during a harsh 2-18 education, the year-wiser Cats will travel to RHS on Sept. 19 for the most key early-season contest (as yet listed) on the team’s 2015 itinerary.

Up first, however, will be a long-anticipated 4 p.m. visit Sept. 1st from Kirtland Central, N.M.

Two of the sides’ previous three clashes went the full five-game distance, and last year’s KCHS sweep could have been chalked up simply to IHS’ then-inexperience. Ignacio will be looking to prove that’s what it was against a program which went 8-2 in New Mexico’s District 1-4A, and 16-6 overall after falling (to eventual rulers Ruidoso) in the NMAA State Tournament’s initial Round-of-12.

Non-league Monte Vista then comes to town on the 10th (also a 4 p.m. start), hoping to build upon a 7-16 result in which the Lady Pirates went 0-8 in the 3A Intermountain. SJBL play gets underway next for IHS on the Sept. 12, with Ouray traversing the mountain passes for a noon start in the Pine River Valley.

The Lady Trojans finished at the bottom of the ladder in 14, going 0-13 against league opposition while managing to take just three games – all at home, including one from Ignacio – and finished a reported 4-18 overall after downing De Beque and then losing to Nucla in the 1A-District 1 Tournament.

The Cats will travel for the first time on the Sept. 17 to Mancos, where the Lady Jays will be hoping to find the sort of fire which had them almost as scorching – MHS won seven of its first ten SJBL matches (and ended up 9-6 in league) – as RHS early last season, before 2A-Region G Tournament losses to Dolores and Cedaredge finalized their 2014 record at 13-11 overall.

Well-received on the Eastern Plains at last year’s Simla Invitational, Ignacio will again grind through the round-robin endurance event in ’15, with action at SHS beginning 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 26.

But upon returning to La Plata County, the Cats will go easy on gas budgets until the postseason.

Starting with a home match versus Telluride on October 1st, eight of Ignacio’s remaining eleven slated dates – including visits from RHS (10/10), MHS (10/15), Dolores (10/22) and Class 1A State Tournament qualifiers Norwood (10/24) – will take place on campus, save for a 10/3 triangular at DHS and a 10/17 single at THS.

A visit from 3A State Tournament qualifiers Pagosa Springs on Oct. 27 wraps things up, with both crews hoping that by then they’ll have prepared and positioned themselves well enough to then play into November.

The Cats will first get a sneak peek at several of the aforementioned foes at the August 22nd 4 Corners Scrimmages, hosted by PSHS and head coach Connie O’Donnell.

 

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