By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari Lady Rattlers fought back from a 2-0 deficit to win against the Logan Longhorns Saturday night in the Snake Pit.
“We did good to come back from 2-0,” Tucumcari coach Kaylene Davis said. “Towards the end of the third set, the girls were in the huddle during the last time-out focused and determined on what they needed to do to win.”
On the other sideline, Logan coach Jolene Green saw a lesson for the team.
“The first two sets went perfectly,” Green said. “The girls just lost steam. We are going to work on serving and coverage to prepare for our upcoming games.”
The first set was close with the score staying tied through the first half of the set. The Lady Horns took the lead midway through the set and with a hard hit from sophomore Megan Frost gave the Lady Horns a 17-13 lead over the Rattlers.
But the Lady Rattlers came back. Scores from a strong serve from senior Cydnie Rich and good hitting from senior Tawni Davis pulled the Rattlers back in the set trailing only by one. But it wasn’t enough. Logan won the first set 25-22.
With a serve from Tawni Davis and hit from senior Cori Wilson the Rattlers took a early 5-0 lead. A diving save from junior Nicole Martinez and back-to-back scoring serves from junior Sarah Orgass brought Tucumcari’s lead down to one point.
A series of saves by the Longhorns and a few out serves from the Rattlers put Logan into the lead. The Rattlers then came back and tied it up 21-21 with a serve from senior Samantha Montano.
But Logan rallied to win the second set 24-26.
The third set was close throughout the entire match with tie scores and several lead changes. Cori Wilson had four consecutive serves resulting in scores extending the Rattler lead to 23-14 late in the set. Then a great block from senior Jana Kirksey heped the Rattlers win and remain in contention.
As in the third set, the lead continued to change in the fourth set. Late in the half, with Tucumcari trailing, a diving save from senior T’Shawna Span kept the Rattlers from falling further behind.
With a time out and the score 23-22 in Logan’s favor the Lady Rattlers huddled up knowing they needed a win to force a fifth and final set.
A hard hit sent senior Samantha Sanchez diving for a save for the Lady Horns but it fell short. Sanchez got back quickly to her feet called out for her teammates to be ready.
A serve from Montano wound up the fourth set for the Rattlers, 26-24.
Tucumcari held an early lead in the final set after Tawni Davis put one down between two Longhorn defenders.
The Lady Horns continued to play it close and a serve from Samantha Sanchez shortened the lead to only two points.
A strong block from T’Shawna Span against Bretta Smith put the Rattlers in the lead 11-6 but strong play from the Lady Horns would keep the game close.
With the score 14-11 in the Rattlers favor, Davis called a time out and the home crowd began to clap and chant in support of their Lady Rattlers. The visiting crowd cheered and encouraged the Lady Horns for a comeback. But the victory went to the Lady Rattlers as Cori Wilson scored the game point for the win 15-11.
Kirksey said, “I’m very excited. We were worried about losing in the third set but we worked hard and we’re proud of how we did.”
“It feels good that we all hustled and won,” said Span. “We got behind but just had to stay positive and play smart.”
Logan sophomore Laken Humble said, “It’s disappointing that we lost. We worked so hard.”
Sanchez added, “The momentum kept shifting back and forth all night. We just have to work on our coverage some more.”