ALBUQUERQUE — Momentum has fierce mood swings. One moment it’s about to end a volleyball dynasty, the other minute it’s extending one.
The Texico Lady Wolverines experienced both against Navajo Prep Saturday afternoon at the University of New Mexico.
One moment, Texico was down two games to none, staring at a 22-19 deficit.
Nearly an hour later, they were hoisting the blue trophy for the third consecutive year, winning 24-26, 22-25, 25-23, 25-15 and 15-6.
“It was the best game we’ve ever played,” junior middle hitter Katlin Luscombe said. “We played with our hearts instead of just our heads. We pulled together.
“At first we fell apart and then we got together as a team and decided that it wasn’t going to end the way Navajo wanted — it was going to end the way we wanted.”
It certainly didn’t start how Texico wanted. Navajo Prep took charge from the start, building a 10-3 lead in the first game. The Lady Eagles rode that momentum to their Game 1 win, then started Game 2 the same way. Navajo Prep’s lead was 17-14, then the Lady Eagles took control with a 4-1 run.
“We weren’t playing well at all,” Texico senior Victoria Richards said. “And we didn’t play well until the third game.”
After Dalva Benny’s service ace for Navajo Prep made the Game 3 score 22-19, Texico answered. Consecutive kills from Jordyn Cooper, Jaryse Harris and Jaylyn Cooper tied it up, and Richards scored later to finish the game-ending 6-1 run.
“It’s a tribute to the girls,” Texico first-year coach Kristen Scanlan said. “They never quit. They believe in themselves and they never, ever quit. It’s not us (coaches) it’s them.”
The Lady Wolverines dominated Game 4, building an early 13-6 lead and never looking back.
The fifth game tiebreaker was close early, but Texico quickly turned a 5-5 tie into an 8-5 advantage after two kills from sophomore Fallon Scanlan, and the Texico girls rode the enormous momentum of the comeback.
“I kind of think (this happened) because God has a sense of humor,” Richards said. “And he wants us to give the crowd their money’s worth.”
Coach Scanlan had high praise for the opposition.
“It’s frustrating playing them,” Scanlan said. “They keep bringing the ball back every time. They attack well and they block well.”
Saturday’s game was a re-match of last year’s 2A state championship match, won by Texico in four games.
The championship is Texico’s fourth since 2001.