Lady Cats end losing streak

Clovis sophomore Siobhan Flatow hits the ball past Carlsbad junior Micha Pruett during the third set of Thursday’s match at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. CNJ staff photo: Eric Klutho Seniors lead the way as CHS sweeps short-handed Carlsbad in district pla

John Eisel, CNJ sports writer

The ending was happy for the Clovis girls volleyball team, as they had runs to close out all three games in a 25-19, 25-17, 25-13 sweep of Carlsbad Thursday night in Rock Staubus Gym. The win also ended the Lady Cats’ five-match losing streak.

“Clovis just rose to the occasion and took advantage of our weaknesses,” Carlsbad coach Doug Lynn said.

The Lady Cats (4-14, 2-5 District 4-5A) went on runs of 8-1, 9-0 and 15-4 to close out each of the games.

The teams were tied at 18 in the first game, Carlsbad had a 7-2 lead in the second game and Clovis was up 11-9 in the final game before making their match-ending charge.

Although some of the points came off Cavegirl errors, Clovis’ spiking, led by senior Lauren Berning, was much more effective against Carlsbad (9-10, 2-3) than in previous matches this season.

“Lauren was definitely on tonight,” Clovis coach Darrel Ray said. Berning had 11 kills and fellow senior Roxanne Luera notched nine.

Carlsbad was playing its first match without two of its top players who left the team recently. One was the starting setter and the other the team’s tallest player.

“They tended to lay down and die, but when you lose two critical players of your team, that doesn’t just effect one or two players, that effects all your rotations,” Lynn said of his team.

Ray said it took away the size advantage for Carlsbad against Clovis, whose tallest player is 5-9 sophomore Janelle Gallegos, and it also opened up the center of the court for the Lady Cat hitters.

“That’s going to hurt the team, I don’t care who you are,” Ray said of missing two starters.

The Cavegirls consistently sent up one person to try and block and in turn Clovis players usually hit through or around the blocks.

“If you’re only going to one blocker up there, we’re going to have a good chance to find the floor,” Ray said. “All night we were the aggressor at the net.”

Lynn said this was the first game without the two starters.
“That’s not an excuse,” he said. “The kids were just real lethargic tonight.”