Lady Cats elimated early

Clovis High’s Antiesha Brown, spikes the ball over Amanda Daniels (1) and Sarah Nunez (6) in a four-game loss Thursday to Eldorado at the Class 5A state tournament in Albuquerque. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ Sports Writer

ALBUQUERQUE — Clovis High’s stay in the Class 5A state volleyball tournament was a short one.

Eldorado put together a balanced hitting attack Thursday and handed the Lady Wildcats a 25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 25-10 setback in a first-round match at Tingley Coliseum.

Junior middle hitter Christina Faris led the Eagles (17-6) with nine kills, while senior setter Jordan White had eight kills and three aces and senior outside hitter Jessica Blythe compiled seven kills and three blocks.

Eldorado was scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. quarterfinal match on Thursday against city rival La Cueva.

“It was a hard match, but it was good for us,” Eldorado coach Cindy Chavez said of the win. “We were able to spread (the attack) around.”

Six players had at least four kills for the Eagles in the match.

“We usually have two or three people that dominate, but it’s not always the same people,” Chavez said. “This time it was really spread out.”

The Lady Cats (13-9) had a chance to square the match in the second game, but faded late. They then led most of the way in winning the third game, but the Eagles finished off the match with a 17-5 run in Game 4.

Sophomore Lainey Flatow collected nine kills for Clovis, while senior Siobhan Flatow added seven kills and two aces and junior Jasmine McDonald compiled six kills and three blocks.

The Lady Cats scored the first point of the match when McDonald blocked Faris, but Eldorado went in front for good at 6-5 on a service error by CHS senior Cynthia Lucio.

Down 22-12, Siobhan Flatow’s kill pulled the Lady Cats within five points, but Eldorado’s Sarah Nunez finished off the game with a kill on the next point.

Clovis erased a 17-12 deficit in the second game, taking advantage of several Eldorado errors, and an ace by senior Britni Montague capped an 8-1 run for a two-point lead.

With the score 22-22, Nunez forced a side-out with a kill for the go-ahead point, and White finished it off with consecutive service aces.

“We needed that game,” Chavez said. “I have to give our girls credit for that because they finished.”

The Lady Cats took the lead for good in the third game at 4-3 and continued to build on that. The margin grew to 14-8 on McDonald’s tip-kill off a Montague quick-set, and the Eagles were unable to get closer than three points after that.

Trailing 7-5 in the final game, the wheels came off for Clovis. Eldorado regained serve on a service error by CHS junior Samantha Ramos, then ran off the next five points with senior Jordan Livingston serving — three coming on Clovis attack errors — for a 13-5 cushion.