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Coyotes get volleyball win

Wildcats challenge Roswell, but Roswell leaves with sweep


November 4, 2018

Kevin Wilson

Clovis sophomore Tabatha Gallegos makes a play on the ball during Tuesday's District 4-5A match at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. Roswell took a 25-18, 25-20, 25-23 victory. The Coyotes face Hobbs in a Monday tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed in the 4-5A tournament. The loser gets a home match Thursday against Tuesday's Clovis-Carlsbad winner, and the top seed hosts Saturday's championship.

CLOVIS — Tuesday's volleyball match was perhaps a glimpse into the future for an improving Clovis team. But it also signaled the present, displaying a young team that still hasn't quite yet arrived.

In their regular-season finale at Rock Staubus Gymnasium, the Lady Wildcats looked able to hang with a quality Roswell team, grabbing the lead in each set. But, they ultimately lost all three and were swept 25-18, 25-20, 25-23.

Somewhat deceptive numbers, because Clovis competed throughout.

"I think it's the best game we've played this season," Lady Wildcats head coach Ruth Chavez said. "Against teams like this, they've been able to come out and dominate us. But tonight, we passed a heck of a ballgame, we passed well in serve-receive, and we served well. And I always believe that if you can win the serving game and the passing game, you have a shot.

"We didn't beat this team, but this is a really good team. And this is the best we've played against them, the best that we've played against any good team."

Clovis opened the first set with a 4-0 lead, but then lost five straight points. The Lady Wildcats tied it at 5, and later at 8 and at 10, but once the Lady Coyotes went up 11-10 they never trailed again in the set.

It was 20-16 Roswell before the Lady Coyotes won three straight points to go up by seven. The teams split the next four points, but that was enough for Roswell to win 25-18.

Clovis again led first in the next set, going up 1-0. And the Lady Wildcats soon took command, building a 13-4 advantage.

Roswell, though, pecked away and had it down to 15-12, 16-13 and 17-14. A Mikyla Harkley ace put Clovis up 18-14, but the Lady Coyotes then won eight straight points to take a 22-18 lead. The streak finally ended when Roswell hit into the net, trimming the difference to three points, but a kill by the Coyotes Alex Gonzalez made it four again, and Roswell was on its way to a 25-20 victory.

Clovis jumped ahead in the third set, again winning the first point, but Roswell led this one most of the way. Still, the Lady Wildcats were the closest at the end than they had been in the previous two sets.

With Roswell leading 24-21, a point away from wrapping it up, a Harkley kill brought Clovis within two. Kameron Kelley then served and Brooklyn Hatley kept things going with a block before Harkley finished off the point with another kill, making it 24-23.

However, a Rael Gonzales kill on the next point sealed it for Roswell. Clovis had been defeated, but had showed its potential.

"Our team's very young," Chavez said. "Most of the time it's five sophomores and a senior on the floor. But they're starting to finally come together."

Roswell head coach Heather Baca thought the beginning of each set was partly a result of her own team's performance.

"I think we played sloppy tonight," Baca said, "and we finally started to serve the ball a little bit tougher and put up a little bit better blocks. We were able to kind of change the tide in each set."

Kevin Wilson

Kameron Kelley plays a ball in the third set of Tuesday's District 4-5A match against Roswell. Clovis will open the district tournament at home Tuesday against Carlsbad.

Though the Lady Wildcats ended their regular season at 6-13 overall and 2-4 in district, there were some more heartening numbers, like the 54 digs they recorded. Tabatha Gallegos had a team-high 12 digs, followed by Harkley with 10, Kelley and Camryn Barros with eight each, Janelle Macias with seven, Megan Emerich with five, Antanishwa Molett with three and Hatley with one.

There were also the seven team aces Clovis tallied. Gallegos and Harkley had two each, with Emerich, Kelley and Macias supplying one apiece.

Kelley and Gallegos had eight assists each. Harkley and Maddison Flygare tied for the team lead in kills with five apiece.

Following the match, Clovis had a week to prepare for the district meet, which begins for the Lady 'Cats this coming Tuesday night against Carlsbad at Staubus Gym. And maybe they're headed to a rematch with Roswell a bit down the line.

"It's definitely possible," Baca said. "They're playing better than they did at the beginning of the season, so there's a good chance."


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