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Camp Verde looks to next step
Written by Brian Bergner   
Friday, 19 August 2011 00:00

Mayra Perez keeps the ball at a comfortable height with a bump during Camp Verde High School volleyball team practice Friday, Aug. 12. The Cowboys open the 2011 season at Mingus Union High School on Tuesday, Aug. 30.After three seasons of futility, the Camp Verde High School volleyball team pieced things together in 2010, going 15-15 overall to qualify for the 2A conference state playoffs.

Now in her third season as head coach, Darcy Evans is hoping to equal the team’s success in 2010 and take the next step in 2011.

“We pretty much have the same team from last year,” Evans said. “Our goals are, of course, to make it back to state this year, and work as a team from the beginning.

The Cowboys lost only one senior to graduation in Shayna Sterrett, but it looks like they lost another starter in junior Donnie Buss, who chose to play soccer this season.

Nevertheless, Camp Verde returns seven players from the 2010 squad looking to get back to the state playoffs.

This season, the Cowboys sit in Division IV [Section I], instead of the normal 2A they’ve been in for last six seasons.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association officially realigned the individual sports during the 2010-2011 school year, and the team sports are set to begin their new adventure in 2011-2012.

Evans said Camp Verde won’t be too worried about the new realignment phase for the AIA, but instead will focus on the 18 players who came out for volleyball this season.

Top returners for Camp Verde include juniors Amanda Showers and Katie Wilson. Showers may find herself playing middle blocker this season for the Cowboys while Wilson should sit at the outside hitter spot.

“I am extremely excited, and I think we can make it to state this year,” Wilson said.

Seniors Amber Gesser and Mayra Perez also return, with Gesser taking over the setter position this season while Perez moves to outside hitter.

Other top returners include junior Jenny Lawson at left outside hitter and sophomores Caitlin Harris [outside hitter] and Kayla Nederer [setter].

A top newcomer worth noting this season is junior Jade Ruis, who has made the team, according to Evans. A position is unclear for Ruis but she should get plenty of playing time as the eighth player on the roster, giving Evans a clearer look at what her strengths and weaknesses are.

The Cowboys are scheduled to begin their 2011 fall campaign at Scottsdale Christian High School on Friday, Aug. 26, in a scrimmage match.

Camp Verde will open the season at home against cross-valley rival Mingus Union High School on Tuesday, Aug. 30, with a start time set for 6 p.m.

The Cowboys have a tough start to the 2011 season with Mingus in the opener, Bradshaw Mountain High School on Thursday, Sept. 1, and rival Sedona Red Rock High School a week later on Thursday, Sept. 8.

The match against Sedona will be a good test since the Scorpions are in Division IV as well and are expected to compete for a state championship come November.


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