STATE VOLLEYBALL: Lady Cats sixth in 5A pool play

CNJ staff

ALBUQUERQUE — Things started and ended pretty well for the Clovis High volleyball team in Class 5A state tournament pool play on Wednesday.

In between, it wasn’t all that good.

The Lady Wildcats went 3-7 in games against their five Pool B opponents, winning the first game from La Cueva and then sweeping Cibola in their finale but losing the seven games in between.

Clovis (13-8) thus earned the No. 6 seed from the pool, and will face Eldorado (16-6) in a first-round bracket match at 9:45 a.m. today at Tingley Coliseum.

“We’ll have to play like we started and like we finished,” CHS coach Darrel Ray said in looking ahead to bracket play.

The Lady Cats split with La Cueva 15-12, 8-15, then lost to Mayfield 16-14, 16-14; Gadsden 15-12, 15-8, and Manzano 15-12, 15-12 before beating Cibola 15-13, 15-8.

Manzano and La Cueva earned the top two seeds from Pool B and, along with No. 1 Las Cruces High and No. 2 Rio Rancho in Pool A, were awarded first-round byes through bracket play.

Mayfield finished fourth and Gadsden fifth in Pool B, while behind the top two in Pool A were Eldorado, Sandia, Onate and Rio Rancho.

Ray said that after the first match started, one of five courts being used was deemed unsafe to play. That caused some delays and backed up the schedule.

He said the Lady Cats couldn’t find a rhythm.

“We were playing out of character,” Ray said. “We were making little mistakes and doing things that cost us.

“We weren’t in sync, except for the start of the day and the end of the day.”

He said the pool played out about the way he thought it might.

“Nobody in the pool was that much better or that much worse than anybody else,” he said. “Our kids just didn’t play to the level they needed to.”

Class 3A — Portales finished sixth in Pool A at Tingley and, like the Lady Cats, went 3-7 in games.

In today’s first-round match, the Lady Rams (14-6) take on Laguna-Acoma, which finished third in Pool B, at 9:45 a.m.

Portales split with Hope Christian (15-13, 13-15), Sandia Prep (15-8, 13-15) and Crownpoint (9-15, 15-12) before losing to pool champion West Las Vegas (9-15, 11-15) and Hot Springs (13-15, 6-15).

The latter result gave Hot Springs (3-7 in the pool) the No. 5 seed over Portales.

Class 2A — Texico finished second in Pool A at Cibola H.S. at 4-2, losing both games to pool champion Estancia (5-1) while sweeping against Mora (3-3) and Questa (0-6).

In Pool B, Mesilla Valley was first, followed by Jal, Penasco and Rehoboth.

The Lady Wolverines (19-3) meet Penasco in one of two 1:30 p.m. quarterfinals today at Tingley, with the other matching Jal and Mora. The other matchups, at 3:15 p.m., send Estancia against Rehoboth and Mesilla Valley against Questa.

Semifinals are at 10 a.m. and noon on Friday, with the 2A championship match scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Class 1A — Fort Sumner finished second at 3-3 and Clovis Christian was fourth at 1-5 in Class 1A at Del Norte H.S.

The Vixens (15-7 overall) face Roy in a 1:30 p.m. quarterfinal game while CCS (17-5) takes on unbeaten Elida (20-0) in a 3:15 p.m. matchup.

Other quarterfinals pit Animas against Quemado at 1:30 p.m. and Tatum against Carrizozo at 3:15 p.m.

Fort Sumner beat Clovis Christian 15-6, 15-10, then lost to Tatum 14-16, 9-15 and split with Quemado 15-5, 9-15. The Lady Eagles’ other matches were a loss to Quemado 12-15, 8-15 and a split with Tatum 5-15, 15-8.

Elida earned the top seed over Animas in Pool B on point differential after both finished 4-2. The Lady Tigers split with Animas 15-7, 13-15 and with Roy 15-17, 17-15 while beating Carrizozo 15-9, 15-13.