The victories in Ignacio put Telluride at the top of the league’s rankings, and won them the honor of hosting the Regional Tournament this weekend. It will be the first time in Telluride High School volleyball history that the team will host a Regional Tournament, as they welcome Ignacio and Meeker this Saturday in the Minerdome.
“As a longtime coach, this is just one of those teams that you really want it for them,” said THS volleyball head coach Fawnda Rogers of the 2012 varsity team who climbed the rankings throughout this season and finally found the top last weekend in Ignacio. “It’s such a good thing for Telluride volleyball to become District champions and Regional finalists.”
The Miners easily defeated Nucla in three games last weekend, winning 25-16, 25-11 and 29-27, thanks in no small part to player Morgan Mackey putting the Mustangs on their heels with her smoking jump serves and Sarah Wontrobski knocking down seven aces in row.
The team faced off next with Mancos, and after falling to the Bluejays in the first two games 25-20 and 25-22, Rogers gave the girls an emotional pep talk. “We’ve talked a lot this season about the power of positive mental attitude, and I reminded them of that” before they took the court for their third, and possibly final match against tough-fighting Mancos. The girls took the cue, and handily won the next two matches 25-14 and 25-13.
Game five saw the Miners lose some of their momentum, as the team conceded five errors in a row that opened the door for the Bluejays to claim a narrow lead. But with Carson Brumley leading the charge for her team with smart plays on Telluride’s side of the net, the Miners managed to come back to win the game 15-9 and take the match 3-2.
Telluride stepped up to the plate in the District Championship match against number one ranked Dolores, with Scout Franklin and Erin Kean keeping Dolores’ biggest hitters in check at the net and sophomore libero Mikaela Balkind working diligently chasing down balls. On the serving line, Ryan Niebruegge was unshakeable, helping put a string of points on the board for the Miners, while Shelby Brier hustled hard to keep the Miners one step ahead of their competition.
The hard work paid off, as Telluride took the match in three games 25-20, 25-15 and 25-12, claiming the District title and sending them into the coming Regional tournament as the number one seed.
The Regional Tournament will begin Saturday morning with visitors Ignacio taking on Telluride, after which Meeker will play Ignacio. Telluride will then return to face Meeker in the third match. Game times TBA.