With the volleyball season arriving in full force on Tuesday for the local teams, it is time to dive into our final season preview of the year, as we set up Cotopaxi volleyball and the season they are looking too.
This is a team building on a fantastic season last year, which saw them one win away from a trip to the state tournament in Denver. A loss to La Veta and a win against De Beque would wrap up the season, but the Pirates can hold onto the fact in their 18-7 season, they only fell to two teams not named La Veta and Sangre de Cristo, and one of those was also a state qualifier in McClave.
Graduation didn’t hit the Cotopaxi girls that hard last season, and while there are faces who need to be replaced, four of the varsity starters are returning, including their best blocker, hitter and server in Koylynn Gulliford and their setter Shaylee Coleman, who should be fully back from a knee injury suffered last year.
The loss of Kali Carlson and Chellis Richards will be tough for two reasons. First, over 200 kills can be tough to find at a small school and those two also acted as leaders on the court.
The Pirates are not going to be feeling out for new faces, as much as reshuffling the faces that are currently familiar to a few people. The team has added Savannah Surfoss to the roster and she will be a big help in replacing Richards in the middle. It looks like the offense will also be helped by moving Claire Carlson to a more active hitting role as well.
As far as a league outlook, the Pirates will still have their issues with La Veta and Sangre de Cristo. Those two teams are still sitting at the top of the league, and will need to be pushed out with force if another will take that spot. But La Veta will be down after graduating a big senior class, meaning that second place spot in the league, and maybe a better draw for regionals and an easier path to state, could be waiting for the Pirates this season.
Caleb’s Prediction: 15-4 regular season. A second place finish in districts to Sangre and depending on who they cross with, a trip to state and the Denver Colosseum.
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