Panther Volleyball ready to roll
Nothing signifies the arrival of fall quite like the sound of bouncing balls and squeaking shoes. Prep volleyball is just around the corner and one local prep team is excited.
Entering the 2013 season, the Montezuma-Cortez High School volleyball team looks ready to go. Built around a group of strong underclassmen and two experienced seniors, there is no reason to believe that this year’s team will not realize at some level of success.
“I have a young team this year,” said head coach Barbara Chappell. “I have two returning seniors, but one (Nickelle Oliver) is hurt. “I have some really solid returning players. We should be pretty good.”
Anchoring this year’s lineup, senior middle hitter, Mikkel Waltman will look to provide stability in the middle. Entering her fourth year, Waltman has high expectations for her team.
“I think things are looking really good this year,” said Waltman. “I think we are going to be pretty decent. We definitely want to beat our rival Durango, play hard and have fun.”
Surrounding Waltman on the outside, sophomore Naomi Pennecoose and junior Beth Brown will look to provide offense to this year’s team. Sophomore Laurel Chappell will serve as the team’s primary setter, while junior Abbey Chupp will serve primarily as a middle hitter.
According to senior Oliver, this year’s team is an extremely close-knit group that will rely on strong team chemistry and camaraderie.
“We’re pretty big on family,” said Oliver. “All of the girls on this team are like my sisters. We hang out a lot at school and on the weekends. We’re very close.”
After opening the season with a scrimmage against Pagosa Springs on Aug. 24, MCHS will officially get things under way against Pagosa on Aug. 29. After then playing a tournament in Montrose, MCHS will return to Cortez for its home opener against Bayfield on September 3.
Highlighting this year’s schedule will be games against league rival Durango on Oct. 10 and Oct. 22.
Overall, this year’s MCHS volleyball team should be very competitive. Be sure to catch them in action throughout the 2013 season.
Sam Green/Cortez Journal