TEXICO — When Texico’s volleyball team dropped the first game of the District 6-2A tournament championship on Saturday, and still struggled to start the second, some Lady Wolverines supporters in the stands were forced to entertain the unpleasant thought of planning a road trip to Eunice or Jal next week.
Those in Texico garb on the floor, however, apparently weren’t quite as concerned. The Lady Wolverines, two-time defending Class 2A state champs, bounced back for a 24-26, 25-18, 25-18, 25-16 victory over Clayton.
The victory will allow Texico (19-2) the opportunity to host a regional playoff game next Saturday against Jal.
“It’s always (best) out-of-five, so we didn’t let it get to us,” said senior outside hitter Jaryse Harris, who finished with eight kills and three aces. “We kept our heads up and I think that's why we were able to come back.
“We tried to shake our mistakes off and try not to dwell on the times we didn’t do as well as we thought we should’ve.”
Meantime, top-seeded Fort Sumner captured the District 3-1A title with a 26-24, 25-15, 25-21 win at home over Floyd.
Clayton (17-5) was led by Ali Alsup’s nine kills while fellow Ladyjackets Morgan Kean and Ashley Trujillo contributed with eight and six kills, respectively.
The visitors won the first game when, with the score tied at 24-24, they got a blind backwards stab from Alsup that fell in for a point — which was followed by a kill from Kean.
Texico trailed 8-7 early in the second before the Lady Wolverines got seven straight points with Victoria Richards was serving to move ahead. Holding an 18-16 lead later in the same game, Texico’'s 5-foot-3 setter Fallon Scanlan elevated for a surprise kill which kicked off a 7-2 run to finish off the game.
The Lady Wolverines were led by Richards’ 14 kills. Katlin Luscombe and Jordyn Cooper also contributed eight apiece.
In the third game, the home team trailed only briefly at the beginning. The fourth game saw Texico with a 16-15 advantage when the Wolverines rattled off nine of the final 10 points.
“We came out strong in the first game and were moving well,” Clayton coach Joey Montoya said. “But one of the big things we lost was fundamentals. We were pressing and anxious to make sure we got the good pass and the good set.”
First-year Texico coach Kristen Scanlan was relieved to get the win.
“Even though we’re a very different team than we were last year, we still have a target on our back,” she said. “We may not be ranked No. 1, but we are still defending state champs.
“I think they want to beat us so bad because (former Texico) coach (Mike) Littlejohn’s teams had beaten them so many times in the past.”