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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Tors' hitters prove too much for Eagles

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagles volleyball team played better than last season in the playoffs, and better than in their playoff for second place in the District 4-3A standings last Saturday night. But they still didn't play well enough to avoid elimination for the second year in a row at the hands of the Lamesa Golden Tornadoes.

The Eagles, who were wiped out by Lamesa a year ago in just over 30 minutes in the Class 3A playoffs, did better on Tuesday at the Odessa Ector Junior High gym. But they still couldn't generate enough offense to overcome Lamesa's height advantage, and were eliminated from the playoffs by 25-14, 25-16, 25-12 scores.

"Some of us have been on and some have been off the last couple of games. We haven't had everybody on the way we needed to, and it was a tough match," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "We had a tough time passing the ball, and we got caught out of position on defense.

"I really thought we were going to play them tougher," she added. "Leslie was into it. She was hitting the ball well, but we needed everybody in there."

Pecos started the match the same way they finished last year's loss to the Tors, mishandling several serves that helped Lamesa jump out to a 6-4 lead. But when Rodriguez rotated to the front line, she put down four kills as part of a 7-2 run that gave the Eagles a 9-8 lead.

However, once Rodriguez went to the back line, Pecos' offense stalled, while the Tors' 5-foot-11 hitter Christy Reeves took advantage of the Eagles' short front line. Reeves had four hits for points and one block on Danielle Garcia to close out the match, as Lamesa finished the opening game with a 14-3 run after a spike by Jill Nix put the Tors ahead to stay at 12-11.

In Game 2, the Eagles got some early kills from Stephanie Herrera and the teams were tied 6-6 when Lamesa's Ashley Hunter came up with a pair of kills and an ace serve during a 14-5 run by the Tors.

A spike by Herrera and a couple of tip shots by her and Garcia helped the Eagles go out to a 4-0 lead in Game 3. Reeves got Lamesa on the board with a spike and Hunter followed with three kills to tie the score. It was 6-6 when Jade Beaty came up with a spike and the Tors' other big middle blocker, Julee Meador, knocked back a Rodriguez spike for a point to sent Lamesa on a 7-1 run that put them ahead by a 13-6 score.

Rodriguez would have a couple of kills after that, helping Pecos get to within 14-10, but again when she moved to the back line, Reeves and Hunter took over for Lamesa, combining for four kills during the closing 11-2 run by Lamesa that finished off the match.

"I thought the last two ballgames we really have stepped it up and hit the ball hard, and that's the key in the playoffs," said Lamesa coach Patty Browning, whose team improved to 27-10 on the season and will await the winner of Saturday's area round match between Dalhart and Monahans in the Region I-3A quarterfinals.

"We'll have to play very, very well to play with Monahans," said Browning, whose team was ousted by the Loboes in last year's playoffs and is expecting to face the District 4-3A champs again next Tuesday in Odessa. "We'll have to play at a very high level and have a very balanced attack to stay with them."

The Eagles, meanwhile, close out their season with a 15-18 record, and will graduate six seniors, including all of their hitters except for Garcia.

"We're going to have to work on our setters, passing and hitting," said Granado. "I just finished telling them they're going to have to go through that weight training program, but I don't know if enough of them will be dedicated enough to do it every day. If they want to get out here and perform in a game they have to be ready to work for it during the off-season."

Greenwood, which defeated Pecos in three games on Saturday in the playoff for third place, fared only slightly better than the Eagles in their bi-district match on Tuesday. The Rangerettes saw their season come to an end in four games against Seminole, in their bi-district match at Lamesa, falling to the Maidens by 25-21, 26-24, 24-26, 25-22 scores.

Pecos girls 2nd in Abilene Division II golf

The Pecos Eagles' girls golf team finished second in their division on Oct. 25, at the Abilene Invitational Tournament, while Pecos' boys golf team will be playing their final fall tournament match at Fort Bliss in El Paso.

The girls shot a 370-371-741 to place second, behind the host Abilene High Eagles, in Division II at the tournament, which featured 18 teams from West Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Meanwhile, golfers Shelly Martinez and Sarah McKinney finished second and third in the medallist race among Division II golfers.

Pecos ended up in Division II by not finishing among the Top 8 on Friday in open play among all 18 teams. "I only took four girls, and they did a good job, but when you only bring four it hurts, because you're not able to drop a score if one of the girls has a bad round," said Eagles' coach Tina Doan.

Along with Martinez and McKinney, Doan said she took Bianca Mendoza and freshman Eleanor Mason to the Abilene Tournament. "She (Mason) did real well. It was a good experience for her," Doan said.

The Abilene Tournament was the only one on the fall schedule for this year for Pecos' girls, who finished second to Snyder last spring at the Class 3A state tournament in Austin. Snyder also was in the Abilene Tournament and placed fifth in Division I, with a 707 score, while one other Class 3A team, Sweetwater, placed ahead of the Eagles, shooting a 723 to finish sixth in Division I.

Abilene High won the Division II title with a 738 score, while San Angelo Central won the Division I title with a 675, one shot ahead of Andrews.

Pecos' boys have one more fall tournament on their schedule, this month at Fort Bliss in El Paso. Pecos placed fifth in their opening tournament, at Lubbock in late September.

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Pecos Enterprise
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