Lady Eagles need five games to turn back House

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

Junior Cristen Wofford was excited about the possibility of a sweep when her Clovis Christian volleyball team won the first two games against House in Friday’s District 4-1A tournament championship match at the CCS gym.

She and the Lady Eagles probably should’ve known better.

The Cowgirls rallied to take the match to the wire, but CCS used a 7-0 run in the fifth game to nail down a 25-16, 28-26, 26-28, 18-25, 15-12 win. The Lady Eagles (16-5) will host the District 1-1A runnerup next weekend in a first-round state matchup, while House (13-5) will have to travel to that district’s champion.

It got a little hairy, though, at the end.

“We get frustrated, but we have the capability to pull it back,” said Wofford, who had 19 kills and seven aces. “I just have to check myself.”

Clovis Christian made short work of the Cowgirls in the first game before House began to find its rhythm. It still looked good for the Lady Eagles, though, when sophomore Jennifer Schaap’s block of 6-foot-1 House senior Shannon Lane gave CCS a 27-26 lead and an attack error by the Cowgirls on the next point made it 2-0.

Lane then got going in the third game and helped House come back. She had 14 of her team-high 19 kills in the final three games as the Cowgirls built momentum after pulling out a close third game.

“I thought we could win in three, but sometimes we just lose it,” Wofford said. “We wanted a sweep, but you can’t underestimate a team like that.”

Schaap had a match-high 25 kills for the Lady Eagles. She also collected three blocks and four aces, while junior Whitney Miller contributed eight kills, three aces and nine digs.

Schaap ran off a string of five consecutive service aces in the second half, helping Clovis Christian turn around what had been a 15-9 deficit.

“These young ladies set a goal, and they worked hard for it,” CCS coach Ceil Boatman said. “They’ve been diligent to support one another and encourage one another.

“In my book, they are well-rounded champs.”

Boatman said she anticipated the Cowgirls would mount a comeback after losing handily in Game 1. In the end, the Lady Eagles simply had a few more weapons.

“We do have an arsenal,” Boatman said. “They just stepped up to where the needed to be tonight.”

Senior Sara Lee added nine kills for House, all in the final three games. Freshman Shelby McElroy had four of the team’s 10 aces.