After back to back wins, first at home then on the road, the TCMS eighth grade volleyball team is sitting on an enviable 8-1 season record with four matches left be- fore the district tournament. At home the team defeated the visit- ing Lordsburg Mavericks in straight sets on Saturday, September 14, then repeated the feat on the road at Socorro Tuesday.
Though competing with intensity and possessing both plenty of skills and some very promising athletes, the seventh-grade team has struggled a bit this season. Though they dropped the match at home Saturday, to Lordsburg in two sets, they pushed the first set to extra points before falling 27- 25. Trailing 19-15 late in the set, behind precise serves rom Emma
Haynes, the team closed the gap and took a 21-19 lead. The score seesawed back and forth before the last Lordsburg point took it.
The second set wasn’t as close, ending 25-20, but the Tigers were in it until the end. Dug into an early 9-1 hole, the Tigers would not give up, but re- grouped, and slowly climbed back in to get close at 15-12, running up six straight points with Nayelli Madrigal at serve.
When the eighth-grade team took to the court at the top of the card, they were ready to achieve some payback on behalf of their younger teammates. Starting a front line of Ava Harrelson, Arianna Alaniz and Mahela Hernandez and a back court of Hannah Hawkins, Tayzhia Bilyeu and Hayden Boles the Tigers took a few minutes to get the measure of the Lordsburg team, slipping behind 6-2 before getting into gear. With Alaniz dishing up points with her leaping power serve, the Tigers grabbed their first lead, 9-6 before relinquish- ing service.
The set was a close one. Though the Tigers padded the early lead up to 12-7 on the back of Bliyeu’s low bullets, and Hawkins, Harrelson and Alyssa Bailon defending the net against anything the visitors could put over it. A Lordsburg rally late in the set tied things up before the Tigers finally put them away, 28- 26.
The second set was more of a Tiger’s romp, with starters Harrelson, Hawkins and Hernandez joined by Kaitlynn Cambroto, Jenna McMahon and Mariah Hernandez. Though the visitors managed to stay close early, they never took a lead. At midway through, with the score knotted at nine all, Hawkins took over serve and didn’t give it up until the Tigers had doubled up their score and led 18-9. They never looked back after that and came away with a convincing 25-13 win for the set, and another vic- tory in the match.
Tuesday, the teams traveled to Socorro and though we are still awaiting more details, both teams came home with victories,
taking the wins in two straight sets each. This pushed our eighth grade Tigers to the 8-1 record they hold going into Thursday’s home match against Magdalena who is looking for a second shot against the team. The seventh grade team is now pushing to a winning record of their own. The teams travel to Hatch on Saturday, September 21 where the seventh-grade team starts the action at 10 a.m. with the eighth grade to follow.