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Cowboys volleyball embraces new look

Posted: August 2, 2013 8:43 p.m.
Updated: August 2, 2013 8:43 p.m.

The Foothill Invitational girls volleyball tournament is the first opportunity for Canyon High and new head coach Brian Ingio to look for leaders to step up on the team and to evaluate a new group of faces.  

Not too much about this Canyon team will resemble the team that finished 13-15-1 at the end of the 2012 season. Former head coach Brandon Johnson has stepped down and the Cowboys have welcomed back Ingio who led the team from 2005-2011. Along with the coaching change, the squad’s three captains have all graduated.

Canyon will also have to replace Second Team All-Foothill outside hitter Lauren Underwood, the Cowboys’ sole player named to the All-Foothill teams.  

“I’m trying to find my leaders,” Ingio said. “Who wants to be on the court and who wants to work hard.”

Canyon came into Friday as the second seed in the Festival Division of the tournament after finishing the first day with a 2-1 record. The Cowboys repeated their day one performance, winning their first two matches before dropping their final matchup.

According to Ingio, the team played well in their early games, defeating Valencia’s JV in three sets, 19-25, 25-23 and 15-8 and Palmdale in two, 25-15, 25-19. In their final match, however, they seemed to struggle with youth and inexperience, losing to Highland in two sets, 25-20 and 25-18.

“We still have to work on the fundamentals. Our defense is weak and our passing is a little subpar,” Ingio said, after the loss to Highland.

Despite watching a few too many unforced errors, Ingio did see a few girls that have the potential to be big contributors for the 2013 squad.

Returning varsity contributors senior middle blocker Sayo Akao, junior libero Sarah Greenland and senior outside hitter Megan Bleiler, have all played well through the first two days of the tournament and could make up the core of the Cowboys starters. Along with them, newcomers junior outside hitter Carly Weslowski and junior setter Rylee Deisbeck will be expected to contribute right away.

“We’re young for the most part and we still have to get over that intimidation factor,” Ingio said.  

Canyon enters the double-elimination portion of the Festival Division today at 9 a.m. at West Ranch High. If they win their first matchup, the Cowboys will be on the court again at 10 a.m., while a loss will knock their second match back to 11 a.m. This is the final day of the tournament.   

Notes: In other local scores, West Ranch lost to Notre Dame 27-25, 25-20 and Chapparal 25-17, 25-22; Saugus defeated Sunnyside 26-24, 25-17 and Hart 25-19, 25-23.


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