Any improvements against Dolores at this stage of the season by any team can be called a success.
Ignacio displayed theirs Tuesday night inside the Bears' lair, and though DHS claimed victory for a second time, the Volleycats made them work harder than when the teams met last month inside IHS Gymnasium.
"We lost in three," head coach Thad Cano said, "but the girls played really well. When we're in system to run our quicks, the girls were putting balls down. It was a great effort all the way around."
Senior Avionne Gomez, sophomore Makayla Howell and freshman Charlize Valdez each smacked six kills as senior Shoshone Thompson spread around 25 assists in the 20-25, 16-25, 21-25 setback.
Howell and Gomez each came up with nine digs defensively, while junior Misty Egger-Morris equaled Howell's three solo blocks.
"And I still have two starters out," noted Cano, "so hopefully I'll know more next week."
Had it not been for the Bears' serving, including a reported six-point run in Game 1 and an eight-point run in Game 2, IHS (5-9, 4-5 2A/1A San Juan Basin League) might have crept even closer on the scoreboard, or might have taken at least one game outright.
DHS improved to 14-1, 11-0 but Ignacio's coach saw something which, if effectively exposed, could slow the Bears just enough to sway a potential third encounter in the fast-approaching postseason.
"We purposely served short," Cano explained, "and as a result (of the setter's footwork) they did a lot of hitting errors to the right-hand side as we were able to move the block over."
Next for the 'Cats will be a SJBL triangular in Telluride versus THS and Norwood on Saturday, Oct. 14.