Serving the High Plains

No. 1 Melrose blasts Logan in regular season finale

MELROSE - Melrose's unbeaten volleyball team already had won a district title before its regular-season finale Saturday against arch-rival and state-ranked Logan. Regardless, the Lady Longhorns were looking for an upset.

The Lady Buffaloes made sure that didn't happen.

Melrose dominated almost from beginning to end during a 25-16, 25-2, 25-11 victory. The No. 1-ranked Lady Buffs, improving to 23-0, not only finished with a perfect record in district play, but suffered losses in only two sets all season.

The Lady Buffs, led by hitters Graci Odom and Isabelle Sena and their combined 17 kills, kept the Lady Longhorns back on their heels for much of the match.

Melrose coach Casey Jackson didn't have much to complain about as his team headed into this week's state tournament as the top seed.

"I think we looked pretty sharp ... more clean than we've looked all year," he said. "That's what you want - hitting our peak at the right time."

Logan (15-7, 8-2) went into Saturday's match having won 11 of 12 and had secured second place in their rugged district.

But what coach Glynna Strand saw Saturday - particularly during the second-set drubbing - prompted her to believe her relatively young team had regressed. Early in the season, the Lady Longhorns lost four in a row and struggled to stay above .500.

"I don't what happened to them," Strand said of her squad Saturday. "I told them just now they looked like they did at the beginning of the year. It looked like we reverted all the way back to that time."

Strand acknowledged her players might have been cowed.

"I think it's an intimidation factor when we play them," she said. "Just didn't hit well or put the ball on the floor. (Melrose) doesn't really block, and they still picked the ball up off the floor. We have to get the ball down."

Kaylee Williams led Logan with three kills.

Strand said she'd have a long list of problems to address in practice before the state tournament. In particular, she mentioned passing and blocking.

"We'd been working a lot on our block, and it's still not there," Strand said. "We've got the power up there to do it, but we're just not getting there."

One strand of hope her squad might grasp is Logan's 2019 team. The Lady Longhorns struggled much of the year, especially against then-undefeated Melrose.

But at the state tourney, Logan caught fire and stunned the Lady Buffs in three sets in the championship.

"There's always hope," she said. "That team didn't really gel until the tournament. So it's possible."

Logan 3, San Jon 0

Clovis Christian 3, San Jon 1

San Jon's volleyball team closed its regular season with district losses to Logan and Clovis Christian.

The Lady Coyotes, which had no seniors and one junior, finished 3-19 overall and 1-9 in district play.

The Lady Longhorns, bound for the state tournament, dominated 25-7, 25-17, 25-15 on Thursday.

Clovis Christian (2-15, 1-9), which San Jon defeated in an earlier matchup, prevailed 27-29, 25-17, 25-22, 25-18 on Saturday.