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Tuesday, October 17, 2000 

Eagles seek playoff spot in El Paso

PECOS, Oct. 17, 2000 --  The Pecos Eagles can get themselves into the playoffs or  get themselves into trouble tonight, depending on the outcome of  their match in El Paso against the Mountain View Lobos.

Pecos faces Mountain View starting at about 7:30 p.m., in the  final regular season road match for the Eagles, who are tied for first with  Clint in the District 2-4A standings. Both teams are 6-2, while Mountain  View is a game back, at 5-3 after their 15-8, 15-9 loss to Clint on Saturday.

The Eagles had their easiest game of the year on Saturday on the other side of El Paso, beating Canutillo by 15-0, 15-4 scores, in a match where Pecos just missed getting their first `shutout' win since their state championship season of 1987. They held a 14-0 lead in Game 2 before Canutillo broke serve and scored four straight points on a series of unforced errors.

The 1987 team is also the last Class 4A team to go through the season undefeated. This year's team can't do that, but they can save themselves a lot of trouble if they can go though this week with a perfect record.

A win would clinch a fifth straight post-season berth for the Eagles, while a loss would drop them into a tie with Mountain View, and likely only a game up on fourth place San Elizario. San Eli hosts Canutillo tonight, then goes to Pecos on Saturday needing wins in both of their games this week to remain in the playoff picture.

Pecos lost to San Eli three weeks ago, after blowing out the then-first place Lobos three days earlier, 15-2, 15-4. A pair of losses by tonight and Saturday would leave them facing a rematch with their Eagle rivals next week just to make the playoffs, instead of a possible first place playoff with Clint or a bye into the area round of the Class 4A playoffs that wins over Mountain View and San Eli would provide.

"I hope the girls don't take Mountain View for granted because they had an easy time with them the first time," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. They need to play with intensity.

"We're trying to win the district title outright or share it (with Clint). Mountain View and San Eli are both fighting for a spot, and they'll give it all they have, but we can't be worried about other teams, we just have to go out and take care of our business," Granado said.

Philly Fobbs had five kills in the first meeting with Mountain View, which played tentative on defense and never gave their leading hitter Diana Gonzales a chance to do much on offense.

Aside from a win, one thing the Eagles will be hoping for tonight is that the officials show up. They didn't last season when Pecos went to Mountain View, which forced the Eagles to make another 180-mile trip to El Paso at the end of the season, where they beat the Lobos to clinch second behind Clint, and forced Mountain View into a third place playoff with San Elizario, which the Lobos also ended up losing.

Bears hunt second half improvement

PECOS, Oct. 17, 2000 -- The first half result for the Balmorhea Bears volleyball  appear no better this season than they were for Balmorhea in any of the  past several seasons. 

But even with an 0-3 mark, Bears' coach Gary Gallego thinks his team has a chance to reverse those results and have a shot at a post-season berth, when second half play begins for the Bears tonight at home against Grandfalls.

"We still have a chance. Even Wink is beatable this year," said Gallego. The Bears lost to Grandfalls, Wink and Buena Vista in the first half of district play, but outside of their loss a week ago to the Longhorns, have looked much better than in the past several seasons against their district rivals.

"That (last Tuesday's 15-4, 15-3 loss at Buena Vista) was our worst game of the season," said Gallego, who added his team played better in a losing effort this past Friday at Dell City, in a non-district match against the Cougars.

"I mixed the lineup up a little, and the girls played better, he said of the 15-9, 15-12 loss to Dell City, which leads District 1-4A right now. "We fell behind 6-0 at the start, and then made a game out of it. In the second game, we never led, but we played them a lot closer."

He said Julia Garlick and Celina Rodriguez both improved on their serves in the game, with Garlick coming up with four aces on Friday. She also had six assists, three kills and a block, while Rodriguez had three aces, two kills and a block. Amber Briceno and Delilah Nunez also had three kills in the losing effort.

The Bears get both Grandfalls at home tonight and Buena Vista at home next week, after a trip to Wink this coming Saturday. "If we can win all three games, we still have a shot at the second playoff berth," said Gallego, whose team comes in with an 11-10 mark and will also try and stay above .500 tonight with a victory over the Cowgirls, who beat the Bears in Grandfalls earlier this month, 15-13, 15-11.

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Pecos Enterprise
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