The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Texico wins fourth-straight 3A volleyball title


November 12, 2017

Eric Murray

Star Center in Rio Rancho. It is Texico's fourth consecutive Class 3A title, 10th title in 12 seasons and a state-record 14th overall.

RIO RANCHO — For the fourth year in a row — and eighth time under head coach Kristen Scanlan, the Texico Wolverines are state champions. Texico won yet another 3A state volleyball title at the 2017 NMAA State Volleyball Championships on Saturday afternoon, needing just three sets to take care of Santa Rosa — 25-18, 25-16, 25-19.

"It's the girls that got that win and we (as coaches) kinda come along for the ride," Scanlan said. "It's a blessing to be with such great young women — who, not only love the game of volleyball, but they love the Lord, they love each other. They play for the right reasons, and that's what's exciting to me."

In the early going, it was No. 2 Santa Rosa (18-7) in control of the No. 1 Wolverines (21-4). The Lions got out to a commanding 15-11 lead in the first set, until Texico made some adjustments and ended the set on a 14-3 run — including 5-0 to end the set.

For Texico, the common theme throughout the match was size, something that it possessed much more than the relatively-small Santa Rosa Lions.

Texico found itself in an 11-11 tie in the second set, only to finish strong once again, ending the set on a 14-2 run.

"This is the fourth time we've played Santa Rosa — we know them pretty well. We had a gameplan and we weren't executing the gameplan to start off," Scanlan said. "Their libero is an all-state libero, and we kept giving it to her and she's gonna dig every one.

"So, we had to remind them during the timeout that they're not executing how we wanted them to. But, eventually they did and we got the win."

While Santa Rosa managed to keep it competitive once again in the third set, forcing a 9-9 tie, too much size brought the Lions down once again.

However, Saturday marked the first-ever state title game trip for the Lions, and after the game, sixth-year coach Breezy Gutierrez was smiling ear to ear.

"It was great. You know, six years we've worked on getting to this point, and we finally did it. It was surreal, it was just great," Gutierrez said. "It wasn't what we wanted it to be, but you know what? These girls earned the state runner-up in the process. They deserve it."

As for the Wolverines, Scanlan's success in Texico is not only a credit to her, but also a pipeline that has been running strong in the New Mexico border town for decades.

The Wolverines extended their state record to 14 state titles, in a total of 20 state final appearances. Second-highest is Goddard with 10.

"There's something about Texico, ever since I came to Texico. It's the 'Wolverine Way,' there's nothing ever tougher than a Texico Wolverine and it is the truth," Scanlan said. "These girls got down a number of times this year and battled back every time. It's just a blessing to be a part of that."


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