Cashel, Demons ready for districts
Post Independent Staff
In volleyball, setters are not an offensive force. Celeste Cashel has broken the mold.
Frequent use of the “dump” play has turned the Glenwood Springs High School senior into an offensive threat this season.
The dump play, Cashel said, is used to surprise the opposing team’s defense or to get a side out when the Demon front hitters are out of position.
The move involves a quick flick of the setter’s wrist to redirect the ball over the net after the ball is passed forward to the front court.
Cashel learned the move last year under former Demon coach Michelle Guillot.
“It was kind of hard at first,” Cashel said when she started using the play. “It was not a normal feeling. The hard part is switching places on the court, but I got used to it.”
Cashel’s new skill became bad news for Glenwood’s opponents.
As the Demons add to their undefeated run this season, Cashel has averaged 2-3 points per match with the dump play, said Demon coach Denise Greene.
“Celeste’s dump move saves our team a lot,” Greene said. “The move is good to get by the blocker.
“It’s unusual because most setters tip the ball forward – not back over their head like Celeste does,” added Greene.
And Cashel is also one of the best in the Class 4A classification when it comes to the traditional role of setter.
According to statistics compiled by the Rocky Mountain News, Cashel is No. 2 in assists in 4A with 539 in 55 games, a mere handful back of state leader Cassie Carver’s season total of 555.
Cashel’s attributes helped vault the 19-0 Demons to this weekend’s District 3 tournament, which begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday with the first round of pool play matches.
“Our goal is to finish No. 1 in pool play and go to the championship round,” said Cashel.
“We’ve played really well,” Cashel said. “Going to state is one of our big goals, but there’s some really tough teams at districts we haven’t seen.”
Glenwood is the No. 1 seed among the eight teams at this weekend’s district tournament.
The best of Glenwood’s possible opponents appears to be Cheyenne Mountain, the tournament’s third-seeded team.
In the regular season, the Indians, who play in the Colorado Springs Metro League, finished 16-3. Two of Cheyenne Mountain’s defeats were to nonleague opponents Brighton and Class 5A Doherty.
Their other loss came last week against Lewis-Palmer, the No. 1 state-ranked team in 4A.
Among the remaining teams, Denver Mullen, which plays in the 5A Continental League, is a strong contender to advance out of pool play.
The 12-7 Mustangs, seeded No. 2 at districts, are in Pool B with Cheyenne Mountain. The rest of Pool B consists of No. 6 seed Broomfield (8-10) and Delta (2-14), the No. 7 seed.
Glenwood is in Pool A along with No. 4 Summit (14-5), No. 5 Greeley West (16-3) from the Northern League and No. 8 Colorado Springs Liberty (1-17).
The top two teams with the best pool play records advance to Saturday’s semifinal matches. In the semi-finals, the No. 1 team from Pool A plays the No. 2 team from Pool B and the team with the best record in Pool B faces the No. 2 squad out of Pool A.
Winners of the semifinals play for the district title on Saturday afternoon. The two remaining teams advance to next week’s 4A regional tournament, at a location to be announced.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.