One year after being blanked on all-state volleyball ballots, La Plata County area teams responded with a big 2019 season, as three players were honored to their respective class’s all-state team.
Ignacio, Durango and Bayfield high schools each had players that were named, as the three schools had both valuable experience and a successful Colorado High School Activities Association postseason.
Here’s a look at the honorees:
Ignacio High School’s Makayla Howell had a stellar season in the front row for the Bobcats, as the outside hitter was named to the CHSAA Class 2A all-state second team.
Howell did it all for IHS, as she was used for both offense and defense. The senior led Ignacio in kills with 214 and had the fourth-most assists with 40.
On defense, she was a force at the net, as she blocked 119 shots, with 88 of them as solo efforts, while she was assisted on 31 more. She averaged 5.2 per match and was at 1.4 per set. She had the second-highest dig total with 224 and averaged 9.7 per match.
She delivered multiple double-digit kill performances with eight, and her season-best came against Sanford, where she put up 21 in a five-set loss. She recorded one double-digit block performance when she put up 10 against Dolores in a loss.
Ignacio also came up just short of reaching state, as the Bobcats went 13-12 and reached the Class 2A Region 7 tournament, where they lost to West Grand and Highland.
IHS will return virtually its entire roster, as Howell was the team’s lone senior.
In Class 2A, Jackie Bogner of Denver Christian was named the Player of the Year, while Russ Haman was named the Coach of the Year after he led the team to the first state championship in program history.
Millie O’Ketter was a huge part of Durango High School’s success, as the senior was named to the Class 4A honorable mention team.
She led Durango in five team categories, as her team-highs included bests in kills (219), kills per set (3.4), digs per set (4.0), serve-receiver efficiency (95.6%) and serve-receive rating (2.35).
The Demons went 14-11 on the year and came within one game of reaching the CHSAA Class 4A State Championships before they lost to Cheyenne Mountain in the Class 4A Region 12 championship match.
O’Ketter signed her National Letter of Intent earlier this month to play next fall at Northern Arizona University.
She achieved double-digit kills on nine occasions and had a season-high 22 kills in two matches, a loss against Fruita Monument and a five-set win over Grand Junction. She was also asked to do a lot on defense, as she racked up 257 digs. Her season high was 26 in a loss to Fruita.
Lewis Palmer had both the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, as it won its fourth consecutive class 4A championship. Giana Bartalo was named the Player of the Year, while Wade Baxter was named Coach of the Year.
When Bayfield High School senior Mavis Edwards was on a roll, she was nearly impossible to contain. The senior helped the Wolverines to an 18-10 season and an appearance in the Class 3A State Championships for the first time since 2017.
They came up two games short of reaching the final four in a three-set loss to Eaton. After a memorable senior season, Edwards was named to the 3A honorable mention team.
Edwards recorded 10 double-doubles on the year, as she was a constant for BHS. She had over 10 kills in 11 matches and her season high was 20 in a five-set win over Farmington. She finished the regular season with 227 kills averaging 3.1 per set per match.
She was also a stout defender and was determined to not give up points. That was evident in her dig totals, in which she had the second highest at 245 and averaged 3.3 per set, but was well behind fellow senior Lana McKee’s 381. Edwards had 12 games with over 10 digs, and her best game was also against Farmington, when she put up 24.
Bayfield will return a strong mix of upper- and underclassmen next season, including Brooke Merchant, Melissa Roberts and Macee Schulz.
Other honorable mentions from the area include Montezuma-Cortez sophomore Avery Wright, while fellow Intermountain League foe Jordan Mobley of Alamosa was a first-team selection.
Payton Brgoch of Lutheran was named the 3A Player of the Year, and Lisa Schumacher of Sterling was named the Coach of the Year.