Clovis’ Aimee Hilburn spikes the ball during the first set of their match against Roswell Thursday at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Eric Butler: CNJ correspondent
On the verge of defeat, there’s nothing like a long service run for a good pick-me-upper.
Thursday night, Clovis got what it needed from junior Cynthia Lucio’s serves and the Lady Wildcats averted a home court sweep, then came all the way back to beat Roswell High 27-29, 22-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-12 at Rock Staubus Gym.
Early in the third game, the Lady Cats seemed listless after dropping a pair of tight games to the visiting Lady Coyotes.
Down 12-7, a kill by Clovis’ Aimee Hilburn put the ball in the hands of Lucio.
Nine serves later, Clovis (9-5) was up 17-12 and on its way back. Although Lucio recorded only a pair of aces during the run, Roswell (6-7) became flustered in a four-point stretch that included two hitting errors, an out-of-rotation call and an interference penalty.
“We called a time out and said, ‘Hey, you’re going to have to find some fire, lift yourself up, or this is going to be a short match,’” Clovis coach Darrel Ray said. “Cynthia got back there and lit it for them by making some plays. And she hadn’t been playing well, so that got her going for the next two games as well.”
“Usually, when I go up to serve, I get a little nervous when we’re that close,” Lucio said. “But I was just relaxed and I just served how I can.”
The match was still a long way from being clinched, however, for Clovis.
In the fifth game, Roswell held a 12-11 lead when a right-side kill from Siobhan Flatow evened the score. Aimee Hilburn, who had a match-high 24 kills, then got one herself to force the Lady Coyotes into a timeout.
After the break, a lift was called on Roswell which was followed by a net violation on match point.
Clovis senior Brittany Blackmon was also instrumental down the stretch of the fifth game — where she scored three of her eight kills.
Roswell was led by Kimberly Ingram’s 12 kills, three blocks and five aces. Teammate Samantha Matta added nine kills.
“We were really fortunate to be up two-zero, because we were out of sync,” Roswell coach Bryan Masse said. “They got going and it cost us.”
It was Clovis’ second match this season to go five games. Earlier, Portales came back from a 2-0 game deficit to beat the Lady Cats.
“Normally, we’re either winning in three or we’re getting our butts beat in three,” said Ray, whose squad plays its final pre-district match on Tuesday at Artesia. “We’ve only gone four (games) a couple of times even.
“We were a little worried we might be a little stale, because we hadn’t played for a week and I knew Roswell had been playing well. The kind of emotion and kind of start they had is exactly what we thought they would bring us.”
Clovis 3, Roswell High 2
Roswell High 29 25 18 22 12
Clovis 27 22 25 25 15
Kills — Roswell High, Kimberly Ingram 12, Samantha Matta 9, Elizabeth Bennett 7, Brandi Plasters 6. Clovis, Aimee Hilburn 24, Brittany Blackmon 8, Siobhan Flatow 6. Blocks — Roswell High, Ingram 3, Bennett 2, Plasters 1, Nichole Wilson 1. Clovis, Janell Gallegos 2, Blackmon 1. Aces — Roswell High, Ingram 5, Urban 3, Bennett 2. Clovis, Cynthia Lucio 4, Flatow 2, Tarrah Sweet 2. Records — Roswell High 6-7, Clovis 9-5.
Lubbock Christian 3, Texico 0
Lubb. Christian 25 25 25
Texico 21 19 23
Kills — Lori Richardson 10, Stephanie Bailey 8. Blocks — Brittany Anderson 2, Bailey 2. Digs — Faith Martin 12, Bryn Mayfield 5. Aces — Anderson 2, Bailey 2, Mayfield 2. Assists — Mayfield 22. Records — Lubbock Christian 27-8, Texico 8-4. Junior varsity — Lubbock Christian def. Texico 2-1.
Clovis Christian 3, Mosquero 0
Mosquero 8 4 16
Clovis Christian 25 25 25
Clovis Christian leaders
Kills — Jennifer Schaap 4, Sam Barnett 2, Jenna Burgin 2, Tasha Daale 2. Digs — Barnett 1. Assists — Mollie Peterson 9. Serving — Barnett 10-10, Amanda Riley 8-8, Sarah Bolyard 7-7. Record — Clovis Christian 9-5 (2-2).
Fort Sumner 3, Dora 0
Dora 18 12 16
Fort Sumner 25 25 25
Fort Sumner leaders
Kills — Julie Wood 9, Lindsey Mansell 8. Blocks — Bree’Anna Lucero 4. Digs — Mansell 3, Wood 3. Aces — Racheal Chavez 10, Wood 3. Assists — Rita Herrera 23. Record — Fort Sumner 8-6 (1-1). Junior varsity — Fort Sumner def. Dora 2-1. Junior high — Fort Sumner def. Dora 2-0.