Simmons voted All-League and All-State

Bobcats’ senior volleyball player gets recognized on the court

Michelle Simmons finished her Ignacio High School volleyball career with an All-San Juan Basin League first team selection and an All-State nod by the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports. Enlarge photo

Steve Lewis/Durango Herald file photo

Michelle Simmons finished her Ignacio High School volleyball career with an All-San Juan Basin League first team selection and an All-State nod by the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports.

The Ignacio High School volleyball team powered into the Class 2A regionals this year as part of a historic 2012 season.

The Bobcats extended that run when two members were selected to the All-San Juan Basin League Team in voting by the conference coaches.

Senior Michelle Simmons was voted to the All-SJBL first team this year – and for the third time in her high school career. Junior Angela Herrera was named to the second team.

Simmons also was named to the All-State team by the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports. She represented Ignacio at the CCGS All-State volleyball match at Arvada West High School last weekend.

“I can tell you Michelle had the support of the Telluride coach (Fawnda Rogers) to get her into the all-state game,” said Ignacio head coach Thad Cano, who coached the Bobcats to a 15-9 record in his first season.

“She told me that Michelle needs to be in that game,” Cano said.

“And there were a lot of coaches around the state that knew her from track. They hadn’t seen her play volleyball, but they knew about her ... as an athlete.”

Cano said the Paonia coach was impressed with Simmons’ from track (three-time state qualifier) and from the volleyball court.

Once she got on the court with the other Class 2A all-staters, Cano said the Bobcats senior “excelled.”

“She did really well, and she played different positions,” he said of Simmons’ opportunity to play middle, left side and right side in the all-state match.

“Her jump serve was ... really good,” Cano said. “She stepped up and played better than she had been playing.”

Simmons, her IHS coach said, did a good job adjusting to the different lineup combinations at the all-state match.

Often undersized, he said her jumping ability enabled her to be an effective blocker in the middle of the net.

“She went in ... nervous. But she really stepped up,” Cano said.

Herrera will return to lead the team next season: “She’ll be joined by a pair of juniors and three freshmen,” Cano said.

dstrode@durangoherald.com

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