Dove Creek 2013 volleyball looking strong
Senior-laden squad looking to return to state tournament
Say the word “volleyball” in the town of Dove Creek and excitement instantly ensues. A regional championship and an appearance in the 1A state tournament will do that to a town.
No doubt, the 2013 high school volleyball season could be a special one in Dove Creek. While only time will tell just how good this year’s Bulldog squad will be, there is no question that the ingredients for success are there.
In order to realize that success, the Bulldogs will rely on an experienced group of dedicated and talented seniors. Middle hitters Shelby Knuckles and Jennifer Fury will look to provide solid blocking up-front, while setter Madison Young will focus on setting up a talented group of outside hitters led by Madison McCourt and Jessica Guynes.
Looking to provide solid defense, Caitllyn Ayers and Corissa Guynes will team up as opposite hitters. Kristin Knuckles will serve primarily as the libero.
“We’re returning all of our starters from last year,” said head coach Scott Knuckles. “We’ll have eight seniors, six juniors, three sophomores and three freshman. A lot of the seniors have played for the last three or four years.”
As for his expectations for the upcoming season, Knuckles stated, “We made state last year and we would love to make it back this year. We played some good teams over the summer at the Fort Lewis Team Camp. I think we’ll have a good season.”
“I hope that our team can make it to state and go far,” added senior setter Madison Young. “We have a lot of seniors this year. We’ve been playing together all four years. We should do pretty good.”
Good, indeed, but in order to make the state tournament, the Bulldogs will first have to put together a string of solid performances in the always competitive San Juan League.
“The (San Juan League) is always a tough league,” said Knuckles. “It’s a 2A league with Dolores, Mancos, Ignacio and Ridgway. Norwood is also always tough. At any given time, any one of those teams can bring it.”
After opening the season on Aug. 24 with a scrimmage against 4A Montrose, the Bulldogs play their first regular season home game on Sept. 5 against Grand County.
The team will then play six more games before traveling to Dolores to face the rival Bears on Sept. 17.
Also highlighting the Bulldog’s schedule is an Oct. 4 matchup against Mancos.
“We need to take the season one game at a time,” said Knuckles. “We can’t look past any opponent, but still need to keep our eyes focused on districts, regionals and state. We want to improve every single game.”
Summing up the team’s high expectations for the upcoming season, senior captain Shelby Knuckles stated, “I want to go to state and I want to win state.”
Whether that goal will be accomplished remains to be seen, but there is little doubt that Dove Creek fans are in for an exciting volleyball season.
Sam Green/Cortez Journal