Clovis Christian School’s Brielle Mares hits the ball past House’s Kimberly Lyons. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By John Eisel: CNJ sports writer
In a match filled with long rallies and lots of dinks and digs, a scrappy and motivated Clovis Christian squad outshined House at home Tuesday night in its first ever district tournament match.
Clovis Christian High’s volleyball coach Ceil Boatman said the Lady Eagles’ 25-20, 26-24, 25-16 victory was a result of the team’s best play of the year.
“This is a big step for us, this is a big thing for us,” Boatman said.
The Cowgirls had just beat House on Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams, but the Lady Eagles (8-10) won a coin toss to get the No. 3 seed out of District 4-A. Boatman said her team kept their focus throughout the match, which made the difference.
The Cowgirls were also without some of their players because they were attending a Future Farmers of America function, but House coach Mark Foust didn’t want that to be an excuse for his team.
Offense was at a premium Tuesday. Both teams struggled passing up front to make a set possible in the first two games, so both teams relied on dinks and rainbows to score their points most of the night. Tasha Daale and Sam Barnett each had eight kills for Clovis Christian, while Kimberly Lyons led House with 11.
“You have to have some kind of force,” Boatman said.
The slow shots allowed the defenses to get two hands under most of the shots, leading to consistently long volleys the entire night. The teams combined for 31 digs and nine blocks. Cristen Wofford pulled up six digs for the Eagles, while Angelina Romo and Cara Hendrickson had four each for the Cowgirls.
“Nothing hit the floor,” House coach Mark Foust said, complimenting the Lady Eagle defense.
Much of the time, the point went to the team that didn’t make the mistake.
The Cowgirls held a 24-21 lead in the second game, after Clovis Christian had won the first game. But House gave up five straight points, with four points coming off double-touches, touching the net or shots out of bounds.
Clovis Christian cruised in the third game, winning by nine points after trailing 8-6.
The Lady Eagles travel to Logan Thursday, with the winner earning a berth in the playoffs and a chance for the tournament championship Saturday at Grady.