By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Tucumcari Lady Rattlers volleyball team will play the Lady Lions for the District 5 3A title Saturday at Santa Rosa.
The Lady Rattlers (8-12,5-2) advanced to the district championship by beating the Clayton Lady Yellowjackets in five sets Thursday night at the Snake Pit.
“The main thing we have to do to beat Santa Rosa is to communicate out on the floor,” said Kayla Cherry, Lady Rattlers outside hitter.
The Lady Rattlers had won the first two sets (25-19, 25-21).
However, a lack of communication on the floor and bad passing hurt the Lady Rattlers in the third and fourth set that they loss (25-22, 25-22) to the Lady Yellowjackets.
The Lady Rattlers were now in a final-set match with the Lady Yellowjackets for the third time this season.
The score was close in the opening minutes of the final set until Lady Rattlers middle hitter Kalani French scored back-to-back points with a kill and a dink. After an error point by the Lady Yellowjackets, French scored a third point from a kill that put the Lady Rattlers ahead for good.
Cherry would close out the game for the Lady Rattlers with three kill points in the final set — including game point.
Cherry scored the game point with a kill that was deflected into the crowd off a dig attempt Lady Yellowjackets defender.
“It feels good to get those shots to fall,” Cherry said. “In a game, the kills get the team excited and pumped up.”
French said the team needs to calm down and play their game. She said it will be important to communicate on the floor to prevent giving Santa Rosa points off bad passes or missed digs.
Game time: 6 p.m., Saturday at Santa Rosa.
The Logan Lady Longhorns (18-4, 4-2), will play against the Melrose Lady Buffaloes for the District 6 2A championship Saturday at Melrose.
The Lady Longhorns advanced to the district championship with a three set win over Fort Sumner/House Thursday at Logan.
Saturday’s championship match will be the fourth time the Lady Longhorns will play against the Lady Buffaloes. The Lady Buffaloes lead the series 2-1.
Game time: 6 p.m., Saturday at Melrose.
The San Jon Lady Coyotes (7-14, 6-5) lost to the Lady Bronchos in three sets Wednesday in their District 4 1A tournament game at Grady.
The Lady Coyotes now await the state seeding results.