By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ sports writer
Clovis Christian coach Ceil Boatman said when her team struggles, it’s more mental than physical.
Outside hitter Tasha Daale recorded 10 kills and senior setter Mollie Peterson dished out 20 assists, but the Lady Eagles needed four games to finish off winless Gateway Christian on Thursday at CCS.
“A lot of times with volleyball (winning three straight games) is hard,” said Boatman of the 25-12, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18 win that raised Clovis Christian’s record to 3-2. “It’s all mental. If you mentally don’t stomp them out, then you open the door for them to come right back in.”
Boatman believes her team’s mental makeup will improve as the season progresses.
“It’s the beginning of the season,” Boatman said. “They have to develop that like you would anything else. Their hitting, their blocking, their serving, whatever. That mental part of it also has to develop.”
Gateway Christian coach Eric Coll said his team’s problems were mental, too, but they are caused by inexperience.
“You could see some of our youth tonight,” Coll said. “The unforced errors kill us.”
Half of the Gateway Christian roster is in either eighth or ninth grade. Coll thinks his team is physically ready to win, but they have to get more games under their belt.
“We do a lot of conditioning,” Coll said. “We had good legs into the third and fourth games. I think we have to work on our mental conditioning. We have to be better in the first games of the match.”
Peterson said the Eagles have played better.
“We came out with the victory but it wasn’t the best we’ve ever played,” Peterson said. “We were planning on going three (games), and no more than four.”
Gateway Christian (0-5) senior Sarah Hellums had a match-high 12 kills.
Clovis Christian 3, Gateway Christian 1
Gateway Christian 12 20 25 18
Clovis Christian 25 25 22 25
Kills — Gateway Christian, Sarah Hellums 12, Michelle Carey 5. Clovis Christian, Tasha Daale 10, Sam Barnett 7, Cristen Wofford 5. Blocks — Gateway Christian, none. Clovis Christian, Barnett 2. Aces — Gateway Christian, Bridgette Shackelford 1. Clovis Christian, Wofford 3, Barnett 2, Daale 1, Mollie Peterson 1. Assists — Gateway Christian, Amanda Roberson 10. Clovis Christian, Peterson 20. Records — Gateway Christian 0-5, Clovis Christian 3-2.
Texico 3, Eunice 1
Texico 25 23 25 25
Eunice 19 25 18 17
Kills — Stephanie Bailey 14, Lori Richardson 12. Blocks — Bailey 2. Digs — Faith Martin 7. Aces — Bailey 5, Erika Autrey 4. Assists — Bryn Mayfield 34. Record — Texico 4-1. JV — Texico def. Eunice 25-8, 25-23.