Miel Diaz
Ignacio’s Miel Diaz, right, leaps to attack against teammate Kelly Campbell during preseason volleyball practice inside IHS Gymnasium. After multiple injuries during the last two years, Diaz will be back in action this fall as a senior.
Seen wrapping the wrist of now-sophomore football lineman Cesar Corona prior to road action in Walsenburg last fall, now-senior Miel Diaz spent much of her injury-caused absence from volleyball as an IHS student athletic trainer under Kolin Tomlinson, discovering an interest which could serve her well after her final season in 2015.
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Thumbnail image of Miel Diaz
Thumbnail image of

V-cat Diaz determined to return, lead


Senior refocused by injury experience

One hard knock just couldn’t leave her well enough alone.

Trying to bridge the lengthy divide between the winter club-volleyball season and CHSAA-sanctioned v-ball in the distant fall by conditioning herself in a different sport, she instead fell into an unplanned pit of pain.

“After my concussion from soccer I had gotten another,” Miel Diaz said, recalling what precipitated – or necessitated – her departure from Ignacio’s personnel-hungry girls’ soccer team. “And that lasted about two months as well – I was playing soccer again, and it was about a month after I had been released from my first concussion!”

So one would think a real remedy would have been a simple return to her established element, right?


“Sophomore year, it was club season, and I was hitting with my left hand because I was playing the right-side position and I wanted to try it out,” she said, still somewhat amazedly in disbelief.

“And I swung a little too hard, tore my labrum off the bone. So I did rehab for six months … nothing got better, I was still in so much pain … like, ‘This isn’t working!’ Then we’re like, ‘O.K. let’s do surgery’… and I was basically in a chair three months, sitting because it was hard to get up. With one arm it was hard to do anything!”

But during the same downtime, which consumed her entire junior season, it was hard for a young lady with the initials ‘M.D.’ not to be caught up in a circle of medicine, doctors and trainers and not be intrigued.

“I had taken a break from something I had loved, and I had to find something else that I’d love to do!” Diaz said. “And I found that sports medicine, helping people with their bodies and stuff, teaching them things that they should do and things they shouldn’t … really helped me mature and, like, find out what I want to do in life.”

“I think it definitely matured me as a person.”

And, undoubtedly, as an athlete bent on ending her IHS Volleyball days with a bang greater than what she had displayed as an excited, albeit admittedly reserved (vocally) freshman and sophomore.

“It had been so long since I had been on the court, touched a volleyball, and it was shocking to me! I was like, ‘Is this really happening?’” she said of first practicing in 2015. “Felt like I was meeting a famous person … little butterflies in my stomach almost!”

“Things were different, the speed in our offense had changed and stuff … it was difficult to wrap my head around! Really difficult … like, my first week back because I felt like an old dog learning new tricks.”

But an eager one, and one whose return is a likely reason Thad Cano’s Volleycats will begin the campaign with ‘Receiving Votes’ status in the preseason CHSAANow.com Class 2A rankings.

“I was more of the … quiet one and now that I have found a ‘voice’ for myself I want to be the leader,” she stated. “People were asking me if I was going to return – I have a name for myself, which I like – but now I want people to know that I have…the leadership as well.”

“When I got back on the court I was sweating, felt like I was in a sauna – drank, like, two bottles of water in one practice! It was crazy!” she continued. “But I wouldn’t trade my injuries for anything; I appreciate them now, though I’ll have issues later in life. Every single one…teaches me, I learn, and I mature that much more.”

“But I love being back as well!”

The Cats got underway Tuesday night, Sept. 1st, at home versus 4A Kirtland (N.M.) Central but results were unavailable by the Drum’s deadline. The team will next see action on the 10th, at home versus 3A Monte Vista, then start 2A/1A San Juan Basin League work on the 12th against Ouray.




1.Loveland Resurrection Christian, 2.Yuma, 3.Iliff Caliche, 4.Akron, 5.Paonia, 6.Lyons, 7.Greeley Dayspring Christian, 8.Colorado Springs School, 9.Ridgway, 10.Sargent. (Receiving Votes – Rye, Swink, Simla, Byers, Edwards Vail Christian, Cedaredge, IGNACIO, Fairplay South Park.)


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