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

Lady Cats gunning for two-time champs

 


Senior outside hitter Jessica Hohn is a three-year starter for the Lady Wildcats. Photo by Rick White.ady Wildcats

Rick White

If veteran Eldorado coach Cindy Chavez is worried about her team opening the District 4-5A season Saturday at Clovis she hides it well.

“We really and truly try to minimize where we play,” said Chavez, who has led the Lady Eagles to back-to-back district titles. “We don’t really need any excuses on the road. We just try to play the best ball we can.”

The Lady Eagles (8-2) have gone unbeaten in district play the last two seasons, but Clovis coach Darrel Ray thinks this the Lady Wildcats’ year.

“We feel good about where we are right now,” Ray said. “I think if you polled the rest of the district coaches, we’d be the favorites. And I’d have to agree with them.”

The Lady Wildcats (10-1) starts district play tonight at Hobbs.

Unlike Chavez, the fourth-year Clovis coach is putting a lot of importance on Saturday’s matchup.

“We’ve got to exorcise some ghosts,” Ray said. “I think if we play well and win, we won’t look back. But if we lose or struggle, it’s going to be a battle every night out.”

Ray sees the district as a two-team race with Manzano as a dark horse.

Eldorado lost three key hitters to graduation, including 4-5A player of the year Audrey Williams.

“Those kids aren’t easy to replace,” Ray said. “(Cindy) has done a great job of rebuilding. But they’re a little smaller than they’ve been the last three years and not as experienced.”

The Lady Eagles (8-2) are coming off a second-place finish to St. Pius X in the Albuquerque Public Schools tournament.

Chavez is impressed with what she’s of the Lady Wildcats on tape.

“I think they’re good,” said Chavez, who didn’t want to delve further into the specifics of the matchup. “I don’t talk to the paper about strategy. All I can tell you is we’ll have a game plan and do everything we can to win.”

Senior Clovis middle hitter Monique Walker was a little more low key than her coach about Saturday’s matchup.

“We’re looking forward to playing (Eldorado),” Walker said. “I thought we could beat them last year.

‘We’ve got to really play with a lot of energy like we did against Rio Rancho in the championship game of the Clovis Invitational.”

Clovis beat the defending state champion in three games in that match.

 
 

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