Over the course of four days, the Montezuma-Cortez High School volleyball team closed out its home schedule against two of the top teams in Class 3A and a talented Class 4A team from Durango High School.
Facing off against Centauri High School on early in the afternoon on Oct. 14, M-CHS struggled during the first during, but regained its composure during the final two games of a 8-25, 20-25, 18-25 loss.
Asked about his team’s effort against Centauri, which is ranked No. 4 in the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Volleyball poll and entered the match with an 18-0 record on the season, Panthers’ head coach Dave Robinson had good things to say.
“Our girls came out to play, and I was really excited about it,” Robinson said. “Centauri is undefeated overall, and they are sitting in the Top 5 in Class 3A. We reduced our errors, so we were able to keep up with them and play well against them.”
Shortly after the conclusion of its match against Centauri, M-CHS returned to the court against Bayfield High School and lost 13-25, 15-25, 20-25. Highlighting the match for the Panthers was the play of seniors Ashley Wood, Hailey White and junior Lanae Dragswolf, who played out of their usual positions throughout the match.
I switched some girls around, and I made them play in difficult areas,” Robinson said. “We had some girls ineligible, and one of our outside hitters, Aryelle Wright, is injured. “Ashley Wood and Hailey White allowed me to solidify the right side, and Lanae moved into the middle and did a great job.
The Panthers’ final home match of the season took place on Oct. 17 against Durango High School and, according to Robinson, his players performed well. The Demons’ consistent hitting proved too much for the Panthers to handle however, as M-CHS lost, 16-25, 18-25, 17-25.
“We had some flashes of brilliance,” Robinson said. “Durango has a really good squad and we were hanging with them for a while. There were some points in the game that we made too many errors on our side, but the girls fought hard for their last home game, and they showed a lot of heart.”
Now 6-13 on the season, M-CHS will wrap up its year with a road matchup against Pueblo East High School on Oct. 28.
The contest will be the last in the high school careers of M-CHS seniors Hanna Carver, Tyra Pinnecoose, Maddi Cooper, Haley Vallejos, White and Wood, who, according to Robinson, have played an integral role in the program this season.
“The seniors that I have are phenomenal girls,” Robinson said.
“They have a lot of care for their team and they are willing to step in wherever I put them. I can’t expect anything more from them in terms of leadership.”