Santa Rosa prevails over Tucumcari
August 28, 2019
Tucumcari vs. Santa Rosa was expected to be a battle between two evenly-matched volleyball teams, and it didn't disappoint.
But it was the Lady Lions who prevailed in crunch time during their 21-25, 25-15, 29-27, 26-24 victory at the Snake Pit in the Lady Rattlers' season opener.
The match Saturday didn't prove decisively which team was better. Two of the games went beyond the usual 25 points, and only four points decided another. Santa Rosa coach Kevin Ortiz said he was pleased with his team's performance during critical times, especially with two freshmen and three more who hadn't played varsity.
"We played Tucumcari all summer, and we knew it definitely would be a scrappy game," Ortiz said. "It was a matter of composure. Our girls did a little better keeping their composure down to the wire. If we continue to do that, we should see good things in the future."
Santa Rosa improved to 2-0.
Coach Dana Benavidez agreed her Lady Rattlers have to do better during game-critical moments, especially with their passing.
"That's something we have to play through," she said. "We have to settle in and get the big play when it counts. I do believe we were playing to win. We were trying to attack the ball, and we did get a few calls that didn't go our way."
Jasmine Jones led Tucumcari with 16 kills, and Felicity Lopez added six.
After splitting the first two games, the Lady Rattlers held a 27-26 lead in the third game but couldn't put it away. Tucumcari committed two hitting errors and one passing error to give that game to the Lady Lions.
In the fourth and deciding game, Tucumcari forged a 24-22 lead and was one point from winning it. The Lady Rattlers committed errors on three of the next four points to give the match to Santa Rosa.
Benavidez, noting her team looked stronger than a year ago, said "we're right there" in being a quality squad. She also said her players must be more mindful of using setter Reece Goldston.
"Sometimes we're just trying to dig instead of playing offensively where we get the ball to our setter without making her work so hard," she said.
Des Moines 3, Grady/San Jon 2
Grady/San Jon fell to Des Moines in a 25-20, 25-18, 17-25, 12-25, 11-15 marathon Saturday at Grady that was the season-opener for both teams.
Teryn Foote led the losing Lady Bronchos with 20 kills and seven serving aces. Kristin Grau made 19 assists, and Caitlinn Herrell added 12 digs.
"We started out really strong in the first two sets," Lady Bronchos coach Rebecca Burns said. "We had 13 aces in the first two sets, and that aggressive serving set us up pretty well.
"After that, we lost momentum ... stopped being aggressive. Each time we seemed to be getting it back, Des Moines would make a great play or we'd make a badly timed error."
Three Quay County teams, including the host in its season opener, will play in the Logan Lady Longhorn Volleyball Tournament on Thursday and Saturday.
Teams scheduled in the tournament are Logan, Tucumcari, Grady/San Jon, Mosquero, Clayton, Floyd, Kim and Springer. Teams will engage in pool play Thursday at the Logan High School gym and Performing Arts Center gym.
After pool play, teams will be seeded for tournament play Saturday. The final is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
On Thursday at the PAC, Tucumcari plays Springer at 1 p.m., Grady/San Jon at 2:20 p.m. and Kim at 4:20 p.m.
On Thursday in the gym, Logan plays Mosquero at 1 p.m., Clayton at 2:20 p.m. and Floyd at 3:40 p.m.
On Thursday in the PAC, Grady/San Jon plays Kim at 1:40 p.m., Tucumcari at 2:20 p.m. and Springer at 3:40 p.m.