Lady Cats down Roswell High in 4

Clovis High setter Britni Montague (9) blocks an attack by Roswell High’s Anika Jones during Thursday’s match at Rock Staubus Gym. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

For a time, Roswell High’s Kimberly Ingram threatened to take over Thursday’s match against Clovis High.

The 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter had eight of her match-high 17 kills in the second game, pulling the Lady Coyotes even, but Clovis High regrouped and went on to a 25-13, 20-25, 25-15, 25-21 victory at Rock Staubus Gym.

CHS coach Darrel Ray said it was a matter of the Lady Cats (4-1) getting back to their game plan.

“We let her tee off on us,” Ray said of Ingram. “We just never came up to pass the ball.

“I really felt like if we got back to what we were doing, we’d be fine. When you don’t get good passes, you’re not going to have much offense.”

Clovis erased a 1-0 deficit in the third game, pulling away with an 8-0 run for a 17-8 lead to regain control.

“Sometimes after we win a game, we get kind of complacent,” CHS senior setter Britni Montague said. “We just kind of lose our focus.

“Against teams like Roswell, we have to know where we need to be.”

Senior outside hitter Siobhan Flatow had 15 kills for the Lady Cats, including six in the fourth game. She also came up with a block and three aces.

“Siobhan played well, and Britni just seems to make all the right decisions,” Ray said. “Tonight she was pretty close to being on the money with everything.”

Montague, who had three kills, two blocks and two aces, said the older players have to keep the rest of the team pumped up when things start to go wrong.

“Me and Siobhan need to keep talking to the girls,” she said. “I think at this point, we’re getting some confidence. This year, we don’t have the pressure of going to just one player. We’re getting better at spreading the ball around.”

Clovis used a 19-4 run to erase a 7-5 deficit and take control of the first game. After forcing a sideout with a kill that made it 10-8, sophomore Lainey Flatow stepped to the service line and ran off nine points in a streak that include two aces and blocks by Montague and Siobhan Flatow.

The Lady Cats led 5-1 in the second game before Roswell came back, going up 18-13 lead when Ingram converted three kills over a stretch of four points.

Clovis then overcame a 15-12 deficit in the fourth game with a 7-0 spurt capped by two Siobhan Flatow kills. After a service error gave Roswell the ball at 24-21, Lainey Flatow finished off the final point at the net.

“We made too many mistakes, and they didn’t let us breathe,” Roswell High coach Bryan Masse said. “Clovis is much better right now than they were in the summer. They have some athletes and they’re starting to jell.”

Masse said he hopes the loss will do his team some good.

“We’re capable of doing that, but we’re still struggling with some things,” he said of the Lady Coyotes’ second-game domination. “Hopefully, we can get there. We’ll learn from it and go on.”