Mancos begins new volleyball era with victory

A new era on the volleyball court has begun in Mancos.

The Lady Bluejays definitely got its 2012 season started off in the right direction.

Ramona Shepherd retired and her longtime assistant Caroline Glover is now the head honcho.

With a new 6-2 (six attackers and two setters) offense, Mancos handled San Juan Basin League foe Ridgway, 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-17), Thursday night at home.

“The girls really came out. They have spent quite a bit of time playing volleyball together,” Glover said. “I changed up the offense this year and they didn’t have a problem knowing where to go. They stepped up, and were able to take on those positions and those changes that I made. We need a lot of work in passing and hitting, but I know we’ll work hard on that.”

Middle blockers Megan Hess and Taryn Gordanier are key defensive forces. Sophomore Jessica Willburn is back at libero, and sister setters Kayla and Taylor Goff are starting. Junior outside hitters Emily Funmaker and Whitney Gustafson help make up a lineup that very well could return to state.

“It’s been really good. We’ve had a lot of positive responses from the girls,” said Glover, who is assisted by Emily Pearson. “We’ve got a pretty young group, but they’re coming together really well with hard work. They came together as a team and their confidence was high. It was a total team effort and everyone contributed.”

The Lady Bluejays (1-0, 1-0 2A/1A SJBL) are off, until Saturday, Sept. 8, when they play in the six-team Montezuma-Cortez High School tournament. Among the group is bitter rival Dolores.

“It will be a tough tournament for us, but it will be good. It will challenge the girls,” Glover said. “It will show us as a team what we will face as challenges and what we need to work on. You have schools from all over, but you see different things. It will show us where we are as a team.”

As a team, Mancos hopes to continue its great success under coach Glover like it did with Shepherd at the helm.

“I just want to say ‘Thanks’ to coach Shepherd for all her years to the Mancos program. I hope to continue that success for her,” Glover said.