By Angela Peacock
Tucumcari Lady Rattlers went into Thursday’s third district game against Santa Rosa knowing communication at the net and on the floor is what it would take for them to earn a victory against their biggest rival.
Mental preparation and the will to beat Santa Rosa just wasn’t enough for the Lady Rattlers who were defeated after four close games.
The Rattlers lost 25-21, 13-25, 16-25, 18-25.
Team captain Bliss Marquez said before the game that her team has both mentally and physically ready to beat the Lions. Afterwards she was the first to admit the Lady Rattlers weren’t as prepared to handle the pressure of another district game.
“We’ve got to move quicker and communicate,” Marquez said. “It’s like people don’t think they have to move their feet constantly and that’s not how it is.”
The Rattlers came out strong Thursday winning the first game but both teams shifted gears in the second and third matches playing scrappy struggling desperately control serve under pressure and communicate both at the net and when passing the ball.
“We just keep making too many little mistakes which end up costing you points and eventually costing you the game,” said Head Coach Nicole Lesly. “Playing smart and avoiding the little mistakes has made it a rough season but I’ve got a young team so what we’ve got to do now is stay focused and stay positive.”
Lesly agreed with team captain Marquez that her team must step up and play when the game isn’t going their way.
“When the pressure is on we’ve got to work on making things happen,” Lesly said.
Sophomore Jamie Jones had both a strong hitting and serving game.
Though she was discouraged her efforts weren’t enough to overcome the second and third game loss she said she’s confident the Lady Rattlers are a more solid team and plans to beat Santa Rosa the next time they meet.
“We’re going to beat Santa Rosa and Texico in three,” Jones said. “And what it’s going to take is communication and a positive attitude.”