Volleycats opening 2018 with Del Norte triangular

Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 3:20 PM
Ignacio's Marisa Carmenoros concentrates on getting underneath a ball and saving it away from the net with multiple Monte Vista players nearby during Pagosa Springs' Pirate Four Corners Scrimmages on Saturday, Aug. 18. IHS will begin the 2018 season facing MVHS as part of an Aug. 25 triangular with Del Norte at DNHS.
Ignacio Volleyball head coach Thad Cano signals to which zone he wants to see a serve sent during Pagosa Springs' Pirate Four Corners Scrimmages on Saturday.

Scores aren't kept at Pagosa Springs' Pirate Four Corners Scrimmages.

But with only seconds left in their sixth and final 25-minute match at the 2018 edition of the preseason event, held this past Saturday, Aug. 18, Ignacio's players clearly knew what time it was.

Exhausted but still battling Sargent, which finished 20-5 overall in '17 and narrowly missed advancing to the Class 2A State Championships, Thad Cano's Volleycats unofficially led Randi Asbell's Farmers 16-15 when the squads swapped sides with 11:16 left on the PSHS Gymnasium scoreboard clock.

And with only four ticks remaining, IHS managed to put up one last serve down 30-29. Sargent managed to score the final point, avoiding the tie, but Ignacio still left the 11-team gathering upbeat about their progress with the 2018 season-opener rapidly approaching.

"I think it's going together really, really well," said senior Kiana Valdez. "I think we're far more advanced than we were last year, with doing all the camps together, playing as a team."

Or better yet, as a veteran team should.

On Cano's varsity roster for the event were Valdez, junior Makayla Howell, senior Misty Egger-Morris, sophomore Marisa Carmenoros, senior Heather Kerrigan and senior Reyna Cruz, all of whom saw extensive varsity time last fall.

Sophomore Ebonee Gomez was also dressed up but was held out due to injury, while senior Rosie Concepcion, sophomore Emilia Price and freshman Alexis Pontine rounded out the crew against not only Sargent but 2A/1A San Juan Basin League foes Mancos and Dolores, as well as 3A Intermountain League teams Centauri, Alamosa and Monte Vista.

The latter was a particularly important opponent to face; IHS (9-14 overall last year) will meet MVHS (3-18) in Del Norte on Saturday, Aug. 25, to begin the new season. The 'Cats will also go head-to-head with DNHS (15-10 in '17) on the Tigers' home court.

"They pick up every ball.hustle a lot," Valdez said. "They're very scrappy, but I think we can take 'em."

Joining Cano this year is Shasta Pontine, the coach for the junior varsity.