Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Lady Rattlers avenge loss


November 6, 2019

Ron Warnick

Tucumcari senior Jasmine Jones attempts a spike against Dexter defenders Chelsea Torres, center, and Emily Delgado during a district match Oct. 29 at the Snake Pit. Jones totaled 20 kills during the match.

The Tucumcari volleyball team avenged an earlier loss to Dexter and secured a second-place tie in District 4 with a 25-19, 25-19, 14-25, 25-17 victory Oct. 29 in the Lady Rattlers’ last home match of the season.

Tucumcari suffered a four-set road loss Oct. 17 at Dexter, hurting the Lady Rattlers’ chance at a district title. Led by Jasmine Jones’ 20 kills in the rematch, Tucumcari pounded the ball down often against the Lady Demons.

“Our passing was so much better this time,” Tucumcari coach Dana Benavidez said. “When you pass well, it sets up our offense. We always have hitters. But when our passers pass as well as they did tonight, it puts our hitters in position to play better.”

Felicity Lopez added eight kills for the Lady Rattlers, and Aaliyah Brown had five.

The Lady Rattlers had hoped the victory would give them another home match for this week’s district tournament. However, Dexter earned a home match by edging Tucumcari 181-176 in total points in two matches in the tiebreaker system.

Tucumcari will travel Thursday to Dexter for a 6 p.m. match in the first round of the tournament. The winner of that match will travel Saturday to top seeded Tularosa, which has a first-round bye and is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A. A time for that match hadn’t been set as of Monday, according to an official at Tularosa High School.

Dexter coach Melissa Duran, whose team fell to 6-13 overall and 1-3 in the district, was reluctant to talk about her team’s performance after its loss.

“When we see them again, we’ll be ready,” Duran said. “I honestly can’t tell you the big difference (from the previous match). They beat us this time; we’ll be ready next time.”

Duran acknowledged being impressed with Jones’ booming spikes.

“She is very talented,” she said, “and I know she’s going to college after this to play volleyball. She has a lot of potential.”

Benavidez also praised Jones.

“She had 15 kills at Dexter,” she said. “She’s playing the absolute best she can play.”

Tucumcari showed few weaknesses in its rematch against Dexter, save for 14 serving errors. The Lady Rattlers also fell behind by a double-digit margin in the fourth game, the only one they lost during the match.

“Volleyball is such a game of momentum,” Benavidez said. “Once the momentum swings, it’s hard to get it back in a set. But we got it back later.”

The Lady Rattlers honored their seniors — Jones, Brown, Chantal Gardea, Tianna Peterson and Mariah Ruvalcaba-Vasquez — and their parents before the match.

Tularosa 3, Tucumcari 0

The Lady Rattlers fell on the road 12-25, 11-25, 25-27 Saturday to top-ranked Tularosa.

Tucumcari fell to 10-10 overall and finished regular-season district play with a 1-3 record, tied for second with Dexter. Jones led the Lady Rattlers with 11 kills.

Tularosa improved to 18-2 and secured the regular-season district crown with a 4-0 mark.

“We started off playing way below our ability,” Benavidez said. “But the team came along in the third set and played well.”

Logan 3, Clovis Christian 0

Logan warmed up for this week’s District 6 tournament with a 25-16, 25-14, 25-19 home victory Saturday over Clovis Christian.

Jordan Hines led the Lady Longhorns with 16 kills, 19 assists and five aces, while Karli Webb added 14 kills and 25 assists. Julianna Garcia had 14 digs.

Logan improved to 17-3 overall and finished second in District 6 with a 6-2 record, with all its losses to top-ranked Melrose (18-0, 8-0).

“I thought we played good most of the match with them,” Logan coach Robert Young said. “They are a much improved team, as are the rest of our district’s teams.”

Clovis Christian fell to 6-10 overall, 1-7 in district play.

The Lady Longhorns, which have a bye in the early rounds of the district tournament, host the semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday. Possible foes for that match include Fort Sumner and Grady/San Jon.

“Regardless of the opponent, it’s going to be a challenge for us,” Young said.

The championship will be 6 p.m. Saturday at top-seeded Melrose.

Fort Sumner 3, Grady/San Jon 2

The Lady Bronchos fell in their regular-season District 6 finale in a 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 18-25, 15-17 marathon Saturday at Grady.

Grady/San Jon fell to 8-12 and 2-6 in district play. Fort Sumner improved to 10-10, 3-5.

“I think it was a great match between two teams that wanted a shot at the state tournament,” Lady Bronchos coach Rebecca Burns said Sunday. “Both our crews knew what was on the line and battled hard for five sets. We had too many errors, which has been our issue all season. It was fewer than normal last night, but the timing of the errors killed our momentum.”

Four teams from District 6 were selected last season for the Class 1A tournament. Burns said her team is “on the cutoff line” and isn’t sure it will qualify.

“It will depend on the NMAA factors and coaches’ input,” she said. “I’m staying positive that our growth in the last few weeks puts us in a good spot, but I think we need some help.”

Grady/San Jon defeated Clovis Christian in five sets Monday to open the district tournament. The Bronchos played Tuesday at Fort Sumner. Logan will host the Tuesday winner at 6 p.m. Thursday and the title game is 6 p.m. Saturday at Melrose.

Melrose 3, Grady/San Jon 1

Grady/San Jon won the first game against top-ranked Melrose but dropped the next three in a 25-23, 12-25, 18-25, 14-25 loss Oct. 29 at Melrose.

Teryn Foote led the Lady Broncos with 14 kills and three blocks. Hannah Bobbitt made 21 assists.

“My girls went in confident and just worked hard for that Set 1 win,” Burns said. “We errored way too much in Set 2 but were competitive again in the third. That’s the best battle we’ve had all year, and it was a huge improvement from the first go-round with Melrose.

“We are still our own worst enemy with the number of errors per set, and it’s killed us in a lot of games. I’m hoping this is a confidence boost for my crew, though, and that we can make a solid push here at the end of the season.”

Hailey Martin led the Lady Buffaloes with 17 kills and four blocks.


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