Sun Nov 3rd, 2013
Robert L. Ortiz
The Southern Ute Drum
Tags: Angela Herrera, Bailey Boyd, Carlie Wytulka, Carson Brumley, Cheyenne Cook, chrystianne valdez, cloe seibel, Courtney Blackmer, Elana Bernholtz, ellie seibel, Karla Martinez, Kelly Campbell, Kenzee Irish, Lady Bears, Lady Mustangs, Larissa Umberger, Macie Magallon, Makayla Sutherland, Mancos Performance Center, Shalyn Steffan, Taylor Elder, Volleycats
IHS finishes fourth at districts
Ignacio’s Volleycats watched and waited for their fate Saturday, Oct. 26, to be determined through a tie-breaking fifth game.
One in which they weren’t even involved.
They’d just fought through and lost a full pull against one of the on-court crews before their eyes, so the extra drama – as if postseason pressure wasn’t enough – wasn’t a total surprise. The surprise was that the team that had put the Cats on pins and needles at the Mancos-hosted 2A-District 3 Tournament then helped prolong their season at least one more match.
That would be the third-place tilt; Nucla freshman Carlie Wytulka’s ace off Dolores junior Taylor Elder not only capped the Lady Mustangs’ five-game thriller over DHS, but allowed IHS – which had also downed the stunned Lady Bears in pool play – to challenge Telluride for the final berth into regionals.
But after moving out of the now-junior high’s gym and into the Mancos Performance Center, the Volleycats’ hopes to see another weekend were shattered.
Outclassed in Game 1 since the Lady Miners went ahead at 7-6, fortunate to have nearly swiped Game 2 after trailing by as much as 20-12, and finally appearing back in form with a Game 3 win, Ignacio’s time ran out on a soft kill into the middle of the floor by THS senior Carson Brumley – after teammate Karla Martinez had hit into the net, bringing IHS back to 24-23.
And by results of 15-25, 23-25, 25-17 and 23-25, Ignacio’s 2013 went into history while Telluride (10-11 overall), NHS and D-3 victors Ridgway (18-3) all assured themselves another opportunity to create some.
The taxing day began for the Cats (7-15) with a net violation against DHS, but after falling behind at 3-2, Ignacio’s climb to a 25-23 Game 1 win peaked with consecutive Chrystianne Valdez aces cutting the Lady Bears’ lead to 15-14, and a Cheyenne Cook kill that gave IHS the lead for keeps at 19-18.
In very similar fashion, Dolores turned the tables and evened the match with a 25-17 win in Game 2, overcoming Ignacio’s 5-0 start to take a 15-12 lead on a Courtney Blackmer overpass-kill and two Bailey Boyd aces, and soon take the game on a Larissa Umberger ace off Angela Herrera.
Ignacio struck first again in Game 3, but DHS settled in to scrap evenly until another Umberger ace put them ahead 13-11. The advantage would remain theirs until Ellie Seibel blocked Elana Bernholtz to bring IHS level at 23-all, and Cloe Seibel then landed an ace out of the senior’s reach. Dolores then tied, but after a Diaz kill Bernholtz nearly blew her stack after being called for a game-ending lift at the net.
Two more Bernholtz gaffes late in Game 4, following a Diaz ace tying it at 20-20 and preceding an Ellie Seibel cross-court kill, virtually spelled defeat for the Lady Bears (13-8) – which became a cold fact, 25-22 and 3 games to 1, when a Herrera smash proved too hot to handle.
Nucla found out in short order just how hot, falling behind by as much as 18-8 on a Diaz overpass-kill, and then 1 game to 0 on an Ellie Seibel ace off Kenzee Irish. And IHS threatened to go up 2-zip when a Diaz kill gave them a 15-10 lead. Finally finding themselves though, the Lady Mustangs bounced back to steal the game 26-24 on an Irish tip and a lift whistled against Cook.
NHS (11-11) proved the aggressors in Game 3, hoping to show the Cats they hadn’t been intimidated, but Ignacio ended up pushing the pace from 13-12 on to a 25-23 win after a lift against Nucla’s Shalyn Steffan and a Diaz line kill.
Blocks by Ellie Seibel and Kelly Campbell helped get IHS off to a 3-0 start in Game 4, but the Lady Mustangs fought back to finally tie at 15-15 with a Macie Magallon kill off Cook’s hands. Nucla then built a small lead, which was soon erased by two Cloe Seibel aces, tying the count at 22. But Ellie Seibel hit one wide to put NHS up, point-23, and Wytulka fired an ace to force Game 5.
To the Lady Mustangs, enough was enough.
Racing out to leads of 3-0, 7-1 and 11-3, Nucla ultimately conquered, 15-8 after emphatic spikes by Magallon, Makayla Sutherland and – before she later proved helpful – Wytulka on match point.