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

PHS coach wins title in return home


Last updated 9/7/2021 at 3:35pm

MORIARTY — Jacki Bailey made quite the return to her old stomping grounds on Saturday.

The first-year Portales High volleyball coach guided the Lady Rams to the championship in the Green Bracket tournament of the Moriarty Invitational, beating Albuquerque Academy 25-17, 27-25, 25-14 in the finals.

The 16-team event was divided into separate eight-team tournaments — Green and White. Texico finished fourth in the Green Bracket after losing to PHS in the semifinals, while Clovis High placed seventh in the White Bracket.

Senior Kylyie Paden collected 19 kills and three blocks against the Chargers (2-2) as Portales won going away in the title tilt.

“Albuquerque Academy was the best we’ve played all season,” said Bailey, a Moriarty High alum (2008) and a volleyball assistant at the school prior to coming to Portales. “It was awesome to come home and see us play so well.”

Earlier, PHS cruised past Cottonwood Classical 25-8, 25-11, 25-18 in the quarterfinals before getting past the Lady Wolverines 21-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-19 in the semifinals.

Paden notched 12 kills while senior setter Angela Maestas had seven aces and 16 assists in the quarters against the Albuquerque-based Lady Coyotes (0-6).

Against Texico, Paden erupted for 30 kills and added nine digs, four aces and a pair of blocks, while senior libero Teagan Faust finished with 33 digs. The Lady Wolverines (3-2), who lost to Moriarty in four sets in the third-place matchup, got six kills from senior Skyler Schaap, 11 digs from senior Avery Pipkin and five aces and 12 assists from junior Catelyn Breshears.

In Texico’s setback against the host Lady Pintos (4-2), senior Cassidy Haakma had eight kills and 12 digs while Breshears recorded 12 digs, four aces and 23 assists.

“I was really pleased with how our kids competed against their bigger girls,” Texico coach Kristen Scanlan said. “I think we made improvements overall, as a team and individually.”

In the White Bracket, Clovis (1-4) absorbed a 25-13, 25-22, 25-16 quarterfinal loss to Pojoaque (3-2), then fell in five sets (27-25, 19-25, 23-25, 25-13, 15-7) to District 4-5A rival Carlsbad (3-2) before posting its first win of the campaign in a 25-11, 25-9, 25-16 rout of Bernalillo (0-4) in the final round.

No statistics were available on the Lady Wildcats’ matches from Saturday.

Coach Darrel Ray said his squad wasn’t up to the challenge against a quality Pojoaque contingent.

“We didn’t do serve-receive very well,” he said. “They did a lot of short serves, and we didn’t adjust.”

Junior outside hitter Gracie Eckles carried the Cavegirls past Clovis in the consolation semifinals, Ray noted, before the Lady Cats coasted past Bernalillo in the final round.

“Every time she was in the front row, they got her the ball,” Ray said of Eckles, a wiry, 6-foot junior outside hitter. “We just had way too many ballhandling errors.”

Clovis and Portales return to action on Tuesday, the Lady Cats playing at Artesia while the Lady Rams visit Roswell High. The next outing for Texico is on Thursday at Logan.


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