TEXICO’S FIVE-GAME WIN over Estancia gave the Lady Spikers the top seed in this week’s District 6-2A volleyball tournament and the right to host the championship match on Saturday.
It also assured the Lady Spikers (16-5) of a regional berth next week.
Texico (16-5) dominated games one and three of the one-game playoff, and led 18-14 in the fourth game only to see the Lady Bears (17-4) rally back to even the match.
But the Lady Spikers led the entire way in game five.
Texico junior Lunden Taylor, who had played virtually the entire season on the junior varsity, contributed 12 kills while filling in at outside hitter with sophomore starter Lori Richardson away at an FFA national convention in Louisville.
“We just told her to go out and do what she’d been doing all year long (on the JV),” veteran Texico coach Mike Littlejohn said.
Amber Parmer added 15 kills and 12 blocks while Ashley Littlejohn, the coach’s daughter, recorded nine kills, eight blocks and seven aces.
Mike Littlejohn said the entire team played well.
“Sissy (Loper, senior setter) played really well (43 assists); she was all over the floor,” he said. “Ashley Kidd (nine kills) played extremely well, and Amber Parmer played probably one of the best matches of her life.”
Texico and Estancia have split four matches this season, Mike Littlejohn said.
“They’re like we were a couple of years ago; they had all their key people back,” he said. “We’ve lost about four people each of the last two years. It just takes a while to get everybody on the same page.”
FARWELL HAS LOST 10 in a row to the Springlake-Earth Wolverines heading into their 7:30 p.m. (CST) matchup Friday at Farwell. The last win for the Steers in the series was in 1990, school superintendent and athletic director Larry Gregory said.
“It’s a big game for us,” said third-year Steers coach Jacob Thompson, whose team has posted a 6-1 mark this season. “We feel like we’re the better of the two teams, and we need to show that when we get on the field.”
Springlake-Earth (0-7, 0-2 district) is enduring a rare down year, and is almost surely going to see its run of 12 consecutive playoff berths come to an end. The Wolverines, who’ve been outscored 244-34, close regular-season play on Nov. 7 at home against district leader Nazareth.
Even if they should lose to Springlake-Earth, the Steers (1-1 district) can in all likelihood still clinch a playoff berth with a win at rival Bovina (5-3, 2-1) in their finale next week.
Bovina ended a long dry spell against Springlake-Earth earlier this month with a 23-8 win.
Thompson, who has been at Farwell since 1997, said during his first year there the Steers had a lead until late in the fourth quarter when Springlake-Earth returned an interception for a game-winning touchdown.
“We can’t overlook these guys,” he said. “It’s been so long since we’ve beaten Springlake-Earth, and I don’t think (motivation) is going to be much of a problem.”