Pontines a proud CCGS All-State pair

Ignacio's Alexis Pontine (15) cuts a kill shot tight to the net and over Wiggins' Rachael White (2) during the Colorado Coaches of Girls' Sports All-State Games' Class 2A Volleyball showcase Sun., Nov. 21, at Fossil Ridge H.S. in Fort Collins. Pontine and the 2A-Red team--coached by IHS' Shasta Pontine and Dolores' Gina Hollen – unluckily fell 25-27, 20-25, 25-27 to 2A-Blue.
Ignacio's Alexis Pontine stands between Rye's Gracie Pfalmer-Graham (14) and Kremmling West Grand's Alex Schake during player introductions preceding the Colorado Coaches of Girls' Sports All-State Games' Class 2A Volleyball feature Sun., Nov. 21, at Fossil Ridge H.S. in Fort Collins. Pontine and mother/IHS head coach Shasta Pontine were named to the 2A-Red team.
Ignacio's Alexis Pontine sets an attack during the Colorado Coaches of Girls' Sports All-State Games' Class 2A Volleyball feature Sun., Nov. 21, at Fossil Ridge H.S. in Fort Collins. Pontine and the 2A-Red team – coached by IHS' Shasta Pontine and Dolores' Gina Hollen – unluckily fell 25-27, 20-25, 25-27 to 2A-Blue.
Ignacio's Shasta Pontine, left, and Dolores' Gina Hollen share a laugh during a timeout, with IHS' Alexis Pontine (15) caught in the middle. The San Juan Basin Leaguers were all selected for the Colorado Coaches of Girls' Sports All-State Games, and all named to the Class 2A-Red volleyball team for the Nov. 21 event at Fossil Ridge H.S. in Fort Collins.
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum

When Alexis Pontine tossed up the first serve of the Colorado Coaches of Girls’ Sports All-State Games’ Class 2A Volleyball showcase match Sunday morning, Nov. 21, the fact it didn’t produce a point wasn’t important. 

What was, was the fact Ignacio’s senior co-captain had prolonged her Fall 2021 season long enough to be able to show off the wicked jump-serve feared by 2A/1A San Juan Basin Leaguers. Because for much of the Volleycats’ inspired run to the CHSAA State Championships, it had been altered to more of a hop-serve. 

SJBL opponents probably couldn’t tell something was off. Pontine, meanwhile, knew. 

“When we went to Dove Creek I had this big mass come up behind my knee,” she recalled while still inside chosen CCGS site Fossil Ridge H.S. “And it started bruising, was really painful; the whole back of my knee was, like, black – it was really gross. An ultrasound showed the mass, but when I got my MRI done it was gone … because it had popped.” 

“They thought it was some kind of cyst … and it popped. So, yeah, it’d been better.” 

But certainly not as strong as the joint appeared in Colorado Springs, then nine days later up in Larimer County – where her first two aces not only embarrassed 2A-Blue, but gave 2A-Red their first leads in the ‘best-of-three’ (all three games, however, were guaranteed) at 13- and 14-12. 

Unfortunately, Red – coached by IHS’ Shasta Pontine and SJBL rival Dolores’ Gina Hollen – would lose a hard-fought opening stanza 27-25, via a successful set dump by Wiggins’ Rachael White and then a tip by Holyoke’s Kristin Vieselmeyer. 

And though Red would bounce back in Game 2, taking a quick 4-3 lead via a kill by Limon’s Trista Marx, the one-off squad would eventually fall behind 2-0 in the contest. Alison Woodhams of freshly-minted State Champion Sedgwick County spiked a White set to bring up game point, 24-20, and after Blue’s Tabor Flanagan (Greeley Dayspring Christian) managed to dig a Pontine nail, White placed another set dump into a vacated corner. 

“I thought it was really fun – especially playing with new people you’ve never played with, or you’ve always played against,” said Woodhams, who attends Ovid Revere – which combines talents with Julesburg to form the formidable SC co-op, known mostly in recent years for 8-man football dominance. “So, it was a pretty cool experience to play with those girls.” 

“Just playing with people who love the sport as much as you do … it’s just an amazing feeling,” Pontine agreed, “and I’m super honored to be picked to play in the All-State Game.” 

Game 3 again saw Blue dash out to a 4-0 lead before Red – minus DHS’ Erin Brown, who was on the bench but unable to play due to a booted lower left leg – powered ahead to take a 14-12 lead on back-to-back kills by Fowler’s Emily Flanscha. That advantage would steadily grow to as great as 23-17 after Blue setter – and Dolores Lady Bear – Kamri Willbanks surrendered a point via a shaky set, and White then sent a swing wide. 

But beginning with a Woodhams kill Blue began pecking away as Red began pressing, each one of its seniors hoping to taste even a partial victory one last time. Pontine was no exception, but was substituted out in favor of Oak Creek Soroco’s Peyton Parker after a third failed attack – coupled with two other Red errors – allowed Blue to pull even at 23. 

Sargent’s Gabby Jones then hit out of bounds, giving Red one chance at claiming the game up 24-23, but consecutive Woodhams put-aways regained Blue the momentum – ultimately producing a 26-25 lead via a Jones kill, and then a 27-25 sweep-clinching win when Red setter Morgan Elarton (Rye) accidentally netted a pass. 

“It being such a close and competitive game was great; going past 25 … in two sets was super-cool,” said Pontine. “I feel it would be a lot more if Erin was playing – I wish we could get more girls from our league up here – but I feel like we (Southwesterners) represented pretty good. It was fun, you know, playing your last high-school game with people like that.” 

Like it? Share it!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail