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Roswell High rallies past Lady Cats

link Staff photo: Tony Bullocks

Clovis senior Mariah Garrison goes up for a kill during the first game of Thursday night’s volleyball match against Roswell High at The Rock. Garrison had six kills and a block, but the Lady Coyotes rallied to beat CHS in four sets.

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Clovis High’s volleyball team got off to a quick start on Thursday night, but Roswell High’s Gali Sanchez and Georgia Eldridge eventually proved to be too much.

After slow starts, Sanchez finished with 15 kills and four blocks and Eldridge added 10 kills and two blocks to go with 11 assists as the Lady Coyotes extended their winning streak to nine with a 17-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19 win at Rock Staubus Gym.

The Lady Cats (5-9) posted a solid first-game win and led for much of the second set, but once the Lady Coyotes rallied to even the match Clovis wasn’t able to turn the momentum again.

“There’s a reason Roswell High has a nine-(match) winning streak,” CHS coach Gabe Apodaca said. “Once they get their big hitters going, they’re hard to stop.”

At 5-foot-9 and 5-8, respectively, Sanchez and Eldridge aren’t all that tall, but both are athletic and capable of making demoralizing plays to the opposition.

“We had to make some adjustments to our rotation,” Roswell High coach Heather Baca said. “Once we did that, we had a better opportunity to be successful.”

The Lady Cats were tough at the net in the first set, with senior outside hitter Danni Williams notching three blocks and freshman outside hitter Makinzie Johnson adding two.

“Clovis is a good team,” Baca said. “They’re very athletic and they can hit the ball.”

CHS led for much of the second set, but Eldridge gave Roswell High (10-3) the lead for good at 23-21 with back-to-back kills, the latter off a quick-set from setter Hayleigh McClain-Ward, who finished with 10 digs, 23 assists and a team-best four aces.

The Lady Coyotes had a comfortable lead much of the third set, then pulled away late in the fourth to win going away.

Senior Shaylee Warner had a solid night for the Lady Cats with 12 kills, two blocks and two aces. Williams finished with seven kills and three blocks.

It was Roswell High’s third win over the Lady Cats this season.

“We did a good job of putting up some big blocks early on and forcing them to try to do something else,” Apodaca said. “Overall, I’m happy with our effort. In the past we’ve struggled when we got behind and almost given up, but I didn’t see that tonight.”

Clovis, which opened District 4-6A action with a three-game sweep of Hobbs at home on Tuesday night, still appears to be in good shape in a district where everyone has struggled so far.

The Lady Cats travel to Alamogordo in a 2 p.m. district matchup on Saturday.

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