By Tony A. Archuleta
The Hot Springs varsity volleyball team has already surpassed last year’s three-win total and begins the new week with a 4-2 record after defeating Lordsburg at home on Sept. 16, and going 1-2 at last weekend’s tournament in Roswell.
Against Lordsburg at Tiger Gym, Hot Springs defeated the visiting Lady Mavericks 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 25-18, 25-21).
“They’re scrappers,” HSHS coach Robert Haro said of the visiting team. “We hit some shots and they dug some balls. They move pretty good, but we got on them on good serving and return of service.”
It took the Tigers one less set to dismantle Lordsburg than it took District 3-4A powerhouse Silver, which needed five sets recently to beat the Mavericks.
At the Zia Classic Invitational Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12-13, in Roswell, the Tigers earned a spot in the tourney gold bracket after strong showing in pool play against Ruidoso, Hobbs and Roswell High C-team.
Hot Springs finished the tournament in fifth place after losing to Roswell, beating Carlsbad and falling to Silver.
In Friday’s tournament opener, Roswell prevailed 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-16).
“We were competitive,” Haro said. “It’s hard because they have a couple of girls that can really get off the ground and hit the ball. We were also struggling a little bit on serves, it’s just concentration.”
On “doubleheader” Saturday, the Tigers started the day off against Carlsbad, beating the big school 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-13, 15-7).
“It was pretty close, then we pulled away,” Haro said. “We lost the first game, squeaked by the second, lost the third, came back in the fourth and took it to them in the fifth. Once again, it shows the girls can come from behind. We couldn’t do that last year or the year before.”
In the second match Saturday, the Tigers lined up against one of the top three teams in District 4-3A this season – the other two being HSHS and Hatch Valley – and were quickly overpowered by the Lady Colts.
“Silver is big,” Haro said. “They have a couple of big girls that can hit the ball. The second line is kind of weak, we just didn’t take advantage. We did good in the second game. The first game we were a little gun shy. The third game, when we got behind a little we gave up a little bit.”
The Tigers played remarkably well against Silver, considering they were playing without senior libero Savannah Gillis, who is expected to miss additional matches due to FFA participation at the New Mexico State Fair. Also missing due to family commitments were junior left side hitter Hayley Rose and senior left side hitter Kaci Frazier.
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