Rams’ camp tests Volleycats

Now in his second year leading the Volleycats, Thad Cano
Now in his second year leading the Volleycats, Thad Cano breaks a huddle during the 2012 season. Players (left to right) Cheyenne Cook, Angela Herrera, Ellie Seibel, Chrystianne Valdez, Cloe Seibel and Miel Diaz can all return in 2013 to form a solid, tested nucleus at IHS. The team's summer-camp schedule concludes this weekend at Fort Lewis College in Durango.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

Aug. 12 — the official start of CHSAA-sanctioned fall sports — will likely sneak up on the Valley’s prep athletes faster than expected.

The Ignacio Volleycats’ transition into fall 2013, however, shouldn’t be too abrupt after an active offseason began winding down July 29 at the Colorado State University Team Development Camp.

“Summer’s been going well,” second-year head coach Thad Cano said, noting his team’s progress at the Adams State University camp in Alamosa and the in-house All-American Skills Camp featuring overseas professionals Amanda Bible (ASKÖ Linz-Steg, Austria) and Lindsay Stalzer (SAGRES NUC, Switzerland). “And we’ll wrap it up at the Fort Lewis [High School Team] Camp on the ninth and 10th.”

“You’re going to be impressed with the girls,” Cano said. “Got them running a super-fast offense, and they’re adapting to it really well. Get a couple more weeks of it under our belt, and we’ll be ready … for our opener at Kirtland [Central, N.M.].”

After beginning work in Fort Collins on Aug. 26, 48 teams from six states were sorted into six divisions for the tell-all tournament portion of the event. Ignacio’s varsity landed in the fifth-tier Challenge Bracket, and its JV in the sixth-tier Aggie — with each ending up fighting for third place.

The top-end Cats began their run by beating the Ogallala, Neb., JV, but then lost to 5A Denver East, bumping them down into the third-fourth clash against 5A Grand Junction’s JV. The meeting with the Lady Tigers also determined overall Camp placings of 35th and 36th, according to results provided by CSU Director of Volleyball Operations Bri Olmstead.

“We started off really strong,” Cano said, “but when Cheyenne [Cook] rolled an ankle … it distracted the other girls.”

Meanwhile, after beginning their own run with a win over 5A Fort Collins Poudre’s JV, Ignacio’s JV succumbed to 4A Longmont’s JV and found themselves playing against Hot Springs, S.D., for their best possible result.

Time, however, simply wasn’t on their side. Nor did it favor the Lady Bison; the match never even had a single serve tossed into the air.

“The teams got to the net,” Cano said, “and they [staff] were like ‘No, we’re out of time!’”

The Aggie championship went to the LHS JV, which defeated EPHS, while the Challenge crown went to BMHS’s Gold after a win over D-East’s JV squad.

Topping the Camp’s top-tier Green Bracket was Billings, Mont.-based Senior, with Longmont’s varsity finishing second inside Moby Arena. Best in the Gold Bracket was 5A Albuquerque, N.M.-based Cibola after triumphing over 5A Highlands Ranch ThunderRidge.

Taking the CSU Bracket championship was Rawlins, Wyo., over Battle Mountain’s Black bunch.

Finally, 5A Littleton Chatfield earned the fourth-tier Ram Bracket title over 5A Greeley West.

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