Clovis High volleyball coach Darrel Ray wasn’t sure who would come out of Thursday’s District 4-5A tournament semifinal at Carlsbad.
As it turned out, Hobbs beat the Cavegirls 26-24, 25-18, 26-24, and the Lady Eagles (10-11) will take on Clovis in today’s 6:30 p.m. finals at Rock Staubus Gym.
The Lady Wildcats (14-6) rolled through their four regular-season district matches, losing three games combined, and thus are guaranteed a spot in next week’s Class 5A state tournament in Albuquerque. They’ve been idle since turning back Carlsbad in four games at home a week ago.
“I always hate to sit and wait through these things,” Ray said. “We’re a little anxious. We’re ready to play against somebody besides ourselves.”
Hobbs’ athleticism may present the Lady Cats with problems. The Lady Eagles also have several players who employ a jump-serve, and do it from different angles.
“The first time (the teams played) it really affected us because of the angles,” Ray said. “The second time it wasn’t as effective against us.
“It’s a little more high-risk (than a normal serve). Two of the last three days (in practice) we’ve put a lot of jump-serves into the mix as far as our serve-receive.”
Junior middle blocker Diera Davis, who stands only 5-foot-7, had six kills, five blocks and 12 digs in a four-game loss to the Lady Cats last week at The Rock. Ray said he is also impressed with junior setter Luz Soto.
Hobbs could lose and still get an at-large berth to state, but needs a win to ensure a spot in the field.
“They do a very good job of keeping pressure on us,” Ray said. “They have a lot of good athletes who match up well with us, and that nullifies a lot of the advantage we have against some teams.
“We know they’re going to be hungry. They can’t earn their way (into state) by having a second-place team.”