By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
Area members participating in the New Mexico High School Coaches Association’s 22nd annual Class 1-2A North-South All-Star volleyball match admit they slept well Sunday night.
And probably Monday night, too, after two, two-hour practices each day.
The 1-2A match is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque.
Grady setter Brittany Bailey, the only one of the seven playing on the North squad, said she’s not worried about not having played volleyball since the season ended in November.
“It’s kind of like riding a bike — once you get on, it all comes back to you,” she said. “I’m excited (about playing). We have a lot of good girls on our team.”
The South squad includes Texico middle hitter Amber Parmer and five members of Fort Sumner’s Class 1A state champions — twins Sandy and Kelly Fortner, Kayla Britain, Tobea Patterson and Leslie Wood.
Bailey, who plans to play basketball at Ranger Junior College this year, said getting to sleep wasn’t a problem for her after Sunday’s rigorous workouts. “I slept like a baby,” she said.
While it’s a quick transition to get used to new teammates, that isn’t the case for the Class 1A state champion Fort Sumner girls.
“It’s really awesome to have five players from one team,” Wood said. “We played well together — we had to to win state — but it’s fun to get to know the other girls.”
Still, she said she’s enjoyed meeting her All-Star teammates, a number of whom she played against in high school.
“It’s been fun making new friends,” said Wood, who passed on a chance to play college volleyball at Oklahoma Panhandle State and will instead enter the nursing program at West Texas A&M in the fall. “After the practices we’ve had, we’re starting to do pretty good.”
Like Bailey and Wood, Parmer is seeing her volleyball career end. She plans to run track at Eastern New Mexico University.
“It’s all been a blast, and I’ve enjoyed the other girls,” she said. “I know all the girls are good, and I’ve enjoyed watching them play.
“I think it’s a neat experience to be selected as an all-star, but I’m excited about track in college. It’s like a new door is being opened.”