IHS adding late-season make-up match 

Taking advantage of a pause in play Tuesday, Sept. 21, with Dolores in town, Ignacio senior Alexis Pontine, right, apparently gauges junior Grace Gonzales' temperature inside IHS Gymnasium using homestyle means. Actual methodology, ironically, soon raised COVID-19 concerns and led to cancellation of the Volleycats' scheduled trip (Ignacio wasn't the only team doing so, either) to the challenging 9/25 Simla Invitational, leaving the team without action until their Oct. 2 venture to Creede.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

COVID concerns cost ’Cats Simla trip 

Though undoubtedly something of limited consolation, Ignacio Volleyball recently picked up a non-league road match out in the San Luis Valley as a means of replacing competition to have been faced at the Sept. 25 Simla Invitational – which the Volleycats ultimately did not attend, due to COVID-mitigation protocols being enacted barely a day earlier. 

According to an e-mail sent on the 27th by IHS Athletic Director Leo Garand, the ’Cats will now visit 2A Sargent on Saturday, Oct. 23, for a varsity-only test commencing at 3:30 p.m. 

“It’s just the world we live in now; every day you just work with what you’ve got to work with,” Simla head coach Kelly Kocerha said following the Invitational.  “We initially had Hoehne supposed to come as well, and they ended up in quarantine!” 

Putting a then-undefeated 6-0 record on the line, 2A Sanford offset the 2A Lady Farmers’ absence, but no replacement could be found for Ignacio – making for a reduced five-team field also including 1A Kit Carson, Oak Creek Soroco and eventual tourney champs Greeley Dayspring Christian Academy. 

By choice, Simla – which lost 3-1 to DCA after shocking Soroco 3-2 – ended up the only crew not getting three matches. 

“We’ll take the hit and try to grab the other match at some point throughout the season,” said Kocerha (née Gordon, a player under coaching predecessor Sue Snyder and assistant/mother Cindy Gordon on SHS’ 1994 and ’96 Class 2A State Champion rosters).  “We wanted to make sure the teams that were here got their guaranteed three; it worked out fine.” 

“We always have a lot of pride in this tournament,” she continued.  “It’s always a great group of teams that come, and so we’re always really appreciative of who does; it’s just a great day of volleyball.” 

“Simla puts on a great tournament, and they bring over some quality teams, you know?  We’ve been coming over here for a lot of years and so has Ignacio,” said Soroco head coach Jeannie Jo Logan, her Lady Rams one of two crews originally slated to have faced the ’Cats during pool play.  “It’s fun getting to see Ignacio – we don’t see them in-season because they are so far south from us – but we were up for whoever.  Put an opponent in front of us and the girls are ready.” 

Ranked No. 8 in 2A going in, Dayspring finished the Invitational – which also featured a junior-varsity division – with a 3-0 record, while 2A No. 6 Soroco ended up 2-1 (but did not face DCA).  KCHS went 1-2, their win at 0-3 Sanford’s expense. 

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