TOP (Left to Right): Coach Urias, Tabitha Carrillo, Lezlie Jones, Marlen Ceniceros, Calise Cottrell, Celeste Ramirez, Amanda Ramirez, Renee Rivera, Coach Flores. BOTTOM (Left to Right): Jackie Santa Cruz, Catherian Ojeda, Crystal Baeza, Kristianne Virdell, Lillian Ramirez, Kymberly Virdell
NOT PICTURED: Jadein Tarango, Cyrenee Tarango, Sam Hernandez
By Rob Segura
The Lady Eagles boasted a 3-0 record for the first day of pool play placing them in the winner’s bracket for Saturday play. The Eagles began play against Fort Davis and came out swinging, forcing Fort Davis to call a time out with the score at 11-2. The Lady Eagles showed accurate placement of hits and outstanding blocking at the net. After the first set, the Eagles stepped away victorious winning 25-9.
Coach Urias decided to test the depth of the team and let the starters take a break for the second set, allowing the Indians to take the second set 25-16. Coach Urias indicated, “this is the only way we are going to get better as a whole… sometimes we sacrifice early in the season to be stronger down the road, later when competition is at its best. The Lady Eagles stung back in the third set winning 25-15.
In the second match of the day, the Lady Eagles faced Sierra Blanca, quickly jumping to a 16-5 lead, forcing Sierra Blanca to call a time out to regroup. The Eagles continued their hustle and won the first set 25-10 and finishing the Lady Vaqueros in the second set 25-21.
The Eagles faced Tec de Monterrey for their final match of the day. Coach Urias said, “they stepped up their game in the last match versus Tec de Monterrey. The Lady Rams came in ready for battle and played tough. They rallied back and forth with us as we continued to put the ball down. They served tough and kept us on our toes. We maintained great composure as the final set went on and we stayed aggressive. Not once did our team play safe. Instead, we fought smart. We took the Lady Rams down in two sets but it was a fight”. This score lead for this set changed five times and the score was tied eight different times during the set, but Van Horn came out victorious with final scores for the match at 25-15, 27-25.
In the second day of play, the Eagles shutdown Grandfalls despite an early loss of the lead. A strategic time out proved to be a game turner as the Lady Eagles won the first set 25-12 and concluded the match winning 25-14 in the second set.
The Lady Eagles finished in 3rd place over all in the tournament. Coach Urias says, “We dug ourselves too deep against Fort Hancock in the second round. We were the team with the most mistakes and we let them control the game.” Urias continued, “We came back stronger and defeated Sierra Blanca but we still racked up some errors. Fortunately for us, we’re still very early in the season and there’s still plenty of time to grind. Each day is a new day to improve and raise the bar. I have every bit of confidence in this team because these girls work hard and are passionate. We just need to find our rhythm.”
Four Lady Eagles received accolades today after nominations by other coaches as follows: Senior Calise Cottrell, Outstanding Hitter – Senior Lezlie Jones, Outstanding Setter – Senior Marlen Ceniceros, Outstanding Defensive Player – Sophomore Kristianne Virdell, All Tournament.