Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Logan takes state

 

November 21, 2018

Micah Thompson

From left, Logan's Karli Webb, Kambry Burns and Harlie Roach get in position prior to the serve.

RIO RANCHO - Harlie Roach of Logan went up high and smashed a shot into the Melrose line Saturday in the Class 1A Volleyball State Championship Match, then got a confused look on her face.

She looked across the net looked behind her.

"We were battling it out back and forth, back and forth," she said. "It could have been anybody's. I was kind of shocked. I didn't know what side the ball came on. I turned around and I was all, 'What happened,' then everybody started screaming. Best moment of my life. It was amazing."

What happened was Roach's shot was blocked straight down on the Buffaloes' side and was the clinching point in the Longhorns (21-3) second straight state title.

Logan's grueling 23-25, 25-20, 25-13, 21-25, 16-14 victory was its 15th straight of the season and fourth in a row over District 6-1A rival Melrose (21-4). Three of those matches went five sets.

It was a rare meeting of defending state champions as the Buffaloes won last year's 1A title and the Longhorns in 2A before the New Mexico Activities Association's reclassification put the teams together this season.

"They're a great team," Logan coach Robert Young said of Melrose. "I thought the experience last year helped us, but they had the same experience and that's what I was really telling our kids about. They won it last year, too and that's what I told them, they know how to win it too. We just had to bear down and get after it."

After scratching and clawing through the first four game with the Buffaloes scrambling, hit-the-floor defense matching the thunder of the Longhorns' powerful hitters, it came down to the final set.

The teams traded points until it was 8-all, then Melrose went on a 4-1 run backed by kill shots from Brette DeVaney and Hailey Martin.

At that point Young called a timeout and it turned the set and the match around.

"I told them that we need to play to win," he said. "That we didn't need to play careful. That we needed to play more aggressive because I felt they had gotten more aggressive than us in that set. We know they're a great team. They're coached well. I had seen some places where they were able to get the ball down on us and we tried to fix those places."

The Logan comeback started when Martin tried a push shot that rolled across the top of the net and back on to the Melrose side. Kristi Earle followed with an ace and with a Longhorns block, it was tied at 12.

"I knew when we got 12-12 with them, I thought we had a little bit more momentum," Young said. "And we might be able to hold them. It was still tough."

Indeed it was.

DeVaney and Logan's Karli Webb traded kills and Melrose hit one wide, followed by a long shot from Logan, leaving it tied at 14. DeVaney's jump serve went just long, setting the stage for Roach's match winner.

"We just couldn't get the job done," said DeVaney, whose serve was on point most of the match and also contributed numerous kills and blocks from the front. "It happens and unfortunately it happened to us in the state championship game. But I still wouldn't trade any of the girls for anybody."

With a handful seniors, Roach said Logan was highly motivated to go out on a positive note.

"Just knowing we have five seniors and me being one of them, we all had to step up," she said. "I had to step and just catch up and win. We know we needed it and wanted it bad. We were talking about it all season. Twopeat. We won it last year and we just wanted to make history and do it again."

Roach and Webb were a powerful duo that pounded shot after shot at Melrose.

"They were keying on me," Webb said. "They moved me around and we were doing different things and I just kept hitting it at them. When we found ourselves and stayed together and put it down, they couldn't keep up with us. It was a battle, but I'm glad we came out and won. We had the mental toughness."

 
 

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