CHS ROUNDUP: Lady Cats split bracket-play matches

CNJ staff

RIO RANCHO — Coming off a five-set win over Roswell Goddard on Thursday, the Clovis High volleyball team went the distance again on Saturday to get another win.

Unfortunately, the Lady Wildcats couldn’t build on that momentum, perhaps because fatigue might have been setting in.

The Lady Cats, who left early Friday for a 12-team invitational hosted by Rio Rancho High, struggled to fourth place with a 3-7 mark on Friday in pool play, leaving them in the Silver Bracket — the middle of three four-team groupings — on Saturday.

They pulled out a 25-20, 22-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-8 win over Espanola Valley on Saturday morning, but fell flat in the finale, losing to Artesia 25-15, 25-11, 21-25, 25-13.

“We’re just outmanned right now with Artesia,” Lady Cats coach Gabe Apodaca said. “They served aggressively, and we had a ton of hitting errors (20 all told, against just 26 kills).”

Clovis had trouble around the net with 6-foot-1 Lady Bulldogs senior middle blocker Sam Matthews. “We never had an answer for her,” Apodaca said.

Senior Shea Mahan had 11 kills and eight blocks against Espanola Valley, while senior Kyleigh Guthals posted 11 kills and 10 digs and senior Sydney Romero added 10 kills and six blocks. Senior libero Andrea Aguilar notched 28 digs.

All three had six kills against Artesia. Apodaca noted that Espanola Valley swept its two-game, pool-play match with Artesia.

In Friday’s pool play, the Lady Cats swept Santa Teresa 25-11, 25-13; lost to Piedra Vista 19-25, 22-25; lost to Rio Rancho Cleveland 18-25, 16-25; lost to Albuquerque Academy 16-25, 22-25, and split with Los Alamos 25-16, 24-26.

Next weekend, the Lady Cats make the short trip south for the Peyton Chavez Invitational at Portales.

Soccer — Both CHS teams played for third place on Saturday in four-team tournaments hosted by Sandia Prep, and the results were a bit different.

The Lady Cats flogged overmatched Moriarty 9-1 in the girls consolation tilt, while he boys lost to Piedra Vista 4-3 to fall to 3-10, absorbing their eighth loss this season in nine matches decided by a single goal.

Senior forward Carrie Sharp scored four goals, including three in a span of about 10 minutes during the first half, as the Lady Cats (8-4) bounced back from a 4-0 semifinal loss to Sandia Prep on Friday.

“Everybody got to play a lot,” Lady Cats coach Traci Sievers said. “Last year, they (Lady Pintos) surprised us in this tournament, and we didn’t want that to happen again.”

Freshman Jaci Sievers, the coach’s daughter, got CHS on the board in the sixth minute and the Lady Cats never looked back. They outshot Moriarty 35-1 on goal, with the Lady Pintos’ only attempt coming on a direct-kick goal scored by Hannah Allison just before halftime.

Nine players contributed to the Lady Cats scoring, either by goal or assist. Junior Ashley Gallagher scored two goals and had an assist, while Jaci Sievers also picked up an assist.

Meantime, the Cats continued to struggle in tight games. Clovis (3-10) has played nine games decided by one goal this season and dropped eight of them.

“We had plenty of opportunities,” coach Greg Trujillo said. “Defensively, we played a lot better (than in Friday’s 8-1 loss to host Sandia Prep), but our forwards just couldn’t put the ball in (the net).”

Senior forward Beau Valverde scored the first three goals for the Panthers (5-8), and junior midfielder Joaquin Saiz made it 4-2 with a shot from about 30 yards out in the 74th minute.

Shortly thereafter, freshman midfielder Alejandro Medina countered for the Cats, and Piedra Vista held on after that.

Senior midfielder Darrien Whiting scored each of the Cats’ first two goals, both assisted by junior forward Josh Lucero.

Clovis played its third match in a row without injured goalkeeper James Smart.

“Our lucks got to change,” Trujillo said. “That’s what the Sandia Prep coach said; he said he thinks we should be all right in district.

“We’re still playing hard. We’ve just got to keep plugging away.”

Both CHS teams play at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The Lady Cats will have “Parents Night” when they take on Roswell Goddard at Leon Williams Stadium, while the boys face Las Vegas Robertson at the Yucca complex.

Cross country — CHS squads were pushed on Saturday in Amarillo Tascosa’s 5K Rebel Run, but competed well, coach Mike Hankins said.

Due to computer problems, team results were not expected to be available until at least today.

Senior Max Santarosa led the Cats, finishing 13th in a field of 167 runners with a time of 16 minutes, 49 seconds. Senior Rebekah Gallop, meantime, led the Lady Cats at 20:31 to place 11th out of 82 runners.

It was the first competing in this meet for the Clovis squads.

“Both teams ran really well today time-wise,” CHS coach Mike Hankins said. “Comparing times to a year ago, the boys are much better now. The overall effort was really good.”

Clovis varsity squads travel to Albuquerque on Friday for the Highland Invitational.