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M-CHS volleyball looks to duplicate success

Montezuma-Cortez’s Avery Wright is a team leader in kills, hitting percentage and aces.
Panthers return three players from state semifinalist squad

Scarcely three months after one of the most successful seasons in program history wrapped up in the 3A state tournament, Panthers volleyball is hoping for déjà vu.

Under the guidance of first-year head coach Caroline Glover, Montezuma-Cortez High School seeks to continue the success from their meteoric rise to the top of the 3A Intermountain League.

The Panthers posted a perfect regular season, sweeping through the perennially tough IML en route to a 14-1 final record. A regional crown and a trip to the Broadmoor World Arena put the icing on the cake for a talented group of upperclassmen.

Three current seniors played a prominent role in that success, headlined by outside hitter Avery Wright, who paced the team in kills last year. She punished opponents with a .233 hitting percentage and finished near the top on the squad in blocks and service receptions.

Wright joins setter Adezdiin Boeckman, who dished out over 450 assists to her prolific front line last year, and outside hitter Sariah Robinson, who appeared in 10 of the 15 matches for the Panthers, as the varsity returners.

Meanwhile, Glover looks for the rise of the junior varsity players to fill in the spots vacated by graduation. “I’ve seen a number of players step up to the level that they’re going to see at the varsity level,” Glover said, “and I expect that the more experience they gain, the more they’ll elevate their game.”

Summer camps and offseason workout regimens helped the growth for the group of Panthers filling in the big shoes left by the class of 2021. “We’ll start with small goals for ourselves,” said Glover, “and we’ll want to work on making good decisions that will help us win each point.”

Suiting up for the 2021 All-state Games, Montezuma-Cortez's Myka Glover and mother, assistant coach Caroline Glover walk to midcourt inside CSU-Pueblo's Massari Arena in June.

Glover, who has been heavily involved in the development stages of the program, coaching both middle school and junior varsity within the district before taking the role at the helm this fall, looks forward to the challenges of coaching at the varsity level. “I’m really excited to work with this group of girls,” said Glover. “We know that we’re going to develop our game knowledge and have each player focus on what they can bring to the team.”

The usual suspects appear on the Panther schedule this fall, including a home opener against county rival Dolores on Tuesday, Aug. 24. The highly anticipated league schedule begins against Bayfield on Sept. 7, kicking off a lengthy home stand that will see the Panthers host all their league opposition, along with New Mexico’s Kirtland Central and Bloomfield. The Panthers also have a road rivalry match against Durango on Oct. 12.

“This is a group of young women that have great attitudes,” added Glover, “I fully expect that they’ll play hard every match.”

M-CHS officially gets underway with the 2021 fall season with a trip to Telluride on Friday, Aug. 20.