Road victory vaults Volleycats into 2A’s top ten Ignacio making voters recognize undefeated start

Ignacio’s Marisa Carmenoros (5) jump-sets an attack during the Volleycats’ Sept. 5 road win at Ridgway.
Ignacio’s Makayla Howell (7) laughs after catching a lucky, point-scoring break during the Volleycats’ Sept. 5 road win at Ridgway.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

Though far from pretty, a three-game sweep of Ridgway did what Ignacio hoped it would do: Bump the Volleycats into the Class 2A rankings’ top ten.

Monday morning, Sept. 9, it was revealed IHS had risen from the top ‘Others Receiving Votes’ team to No. 7 prior to the squad’s 9/12 trip to Mancos and 9/14 home match versus Ouray—after which the ’Cats could very well stand 3-0 against the full 2A/1A San Juan Basin League and 5-0 overall.

If mistakes made Thursday evening, Sept. 5, against upset-minded RHS get satisfactorily cleaned up, such undefeated status will be a much easier goal to attain, but the ’Cats won’t be overlooking either MHS or OHS (the Lady Trojans, remember, defended their home court 25-23, 25-14, 25-19 last fall, not two full days after the Lady Jays had left IHS Gymnasium surprise 25-15, 25-16, 25-22 victors).

After nearly allowing Game 1 to slip their grip before winning 25-23, Ignacio quickly climbed out of a 5-1 hole in Game 2 to eventually take a 10-9 advantage and gradually increase it to as great as 20-14 en route to prevailing 25-18.

And inspired by some vicious Makayla Howell serving after the Lady Demons pulled level at 12-all in Game 3, Ignacio strung together 11 consecutive points—beginning with a cross-court kill by sophomore Alexis Pontine—to go up 23-12 and coasted to a victory-clinching 25-16 margin—finalized by Howell tipping match point out of reach of Ridgway’s Jenna Brown.

Howell, a senior, finished with eight kills in 11 attacks with only two errors—a .545 hitting percentage.  Pontine downed ten in 19 tries (with just three errors) for a .368 mark, as junior setter Marisa Carmenoros distributed 23 assists.

Freshman Grace Gonzales matched Howell’s eight kills, but finished a -.056 due to nine errors in her 18 tries, while junior Charlize Valdez put down five kills at a .077 rate.

IHS (3-0, 1-0 2A/1A SJBL) fired 18 aces in the road win, led by four each from Pontine and Valdez, with Howell and freshman Laci Brunson each contributing three. Defensively, Howell booked a team-leading seven digs with Brunson logging five and Carmenoros three.




1.Denver Christian, 2.Limon, 3.Wiggins, 4.Greeley Union Colony, 5.Meeker, 6.Yuma, 7.IGNACIO, 8.Swink, 9.Ault Highland, 10.Hoehne. Others receiving votes—Simla, Fowler, Sedgwick County (Julesburg/Ovid Revere), Lafayette Dawson School, Kremmling West Grand, Evergreen Clear Creek, Rye, Akron, Walsenburg John Mall, Lyons, Telluride, Hayden.

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