All-SJBL Volleyball has ‘Spirit’

Chrystianne Valdez
Ignacio junior Chrystianne Valdez hustles to a ball during the 2014 volleyball season, with teammates Amya Bison and Kelly Campbell (rear) in support. Valdez was named Honorable Mention All-SJBL, and also part of the IHS Cheer team that competed at the State Spirit Championships in Denver.
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

Part of the IHS Cheer crew that competed at the State Spirit Championships inside the Denver Coliseum the weekend of Dec. 5-6, junior Chrystianne Valdez also recently earned an Honorable Mention All-San Juan Basin League nod for her work on the volleyball court in the 2014 season.

Receiving 16 points from the loop’s coaches in the voting system, and utilized by head coach Thad Cano as a libero, defensive specialist and outside hitter, Valdez was joined by Nucla junior middle Erin Staats (13), Dolores senior libero Kelly Charles (12), Mancos senior outside/middle Courtney Colyer (11), Norwood senior OH/MH Kelsey Rowe (11) and Ouray junior OH/MH Sarah Pankow (4).

Comprised of the top twelve vote-getters, the All-SJBL Team included:

Ridgway junior OH Kaitlyn Rutherford (91), Norwood senior setter Jordan Williams (72), RHS sophomore setter Ara Norwood (63), DHS junior OH Courtney Blackmer (61) and junior setter Larissa Umberger (60), MHS senior libero Jessica Willburn (45), Norwood soph middle Macie Magallon and Telluride senior libero Mikaela Balkind (43 each), RHS senior OH Danielle McKelvey (40), Nucla sophomore setter Carlie Wytulka (37), DHS senior middle Taylor Elder (23), and Dove Creek senior OH/middle Ana Lee (20).

Ridgway, Dolores and Norwood all represented the SJBL at the State Championships in Denver, but only the Lady Demons (19-6 final record) managed to manufacture at least one victory – a 2-to-1 defeat of Sargent in Class 2A pool-play action, after an initial 3-0 loss to Loveland Resurrection Christian.

Also in 2A, the Lady Bears (18-8) were swept in three games by Yuma and in two by Colorado Springs School, while the Class 1A Lady Mavericks (23-4) fell in four to Otis and in three to Mosca Sangre de Cristo. The Volleycats, meanwhile, finished 2-18 overall this fall.

FEELING THE ‘SPIRIT’: Competing in the Class 2A ‘Cheer’ division at the aforementioned State Spirit Championships, Ignacio scored a 52.35 during the preliminary round on Day 2 but did not advance to the finals and ultimately finished in 14th place, between Telluride (53.05) and Merino (50.4).

From far out on the Eastern Plains, Cheyenne Wells’ 76.7 in the prelims was tops, as was their improved 80.9 in the finals. Highlands Ranch Jim Elliot Christian settled for second with a 74.55, up from a 72.35, and Swink improved from an initial 69.65 to take third with a 71.8.

The fourth and last team to make the final round, Fairplay South Park struggled to a 51.8 after scoring 69.775 in the prelims. SJBL cheerleading stronghold Dove Creek finished sixth with a 67.175, and Dolores was 11th with a 57.625.

Edwards Vail Christian took first in 2A ‘Poms’ and Salida won the 2A/3A ‘Co-Ed Cheer’ class.

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