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PECOS, Aug. 29 - The Pecos Eagles will be hoping the right combination
falls into place this weekend, when they host the 11th annual Cantaloupe
Classic Volleyball Tournament at the Pecos High School gym.
Freshman play begins this afternoon in the new and old gyms, while the
junior varsity opens Friday in the old gym and the varsity on two courts
in the new building.
The Eagles will take on defending tournament champion Kermit in their
first pool round matchup, starting at 9 a.m. Pecos faces El Paso Bowie
at 12:20 p.m. and wraps up pool round action with a 3:40 p.m. contest
against El Paso Jesus Chapel.
After splitting all of their matches and pool games down the middle last
week to open the season, the Eagles struggled against Snyder and Midland
Lee on Tuesday in Midland to fall to 2-4 on the season. Pecos lost to
the Tigers, 15-5, then were beaten by the Rebels, 15-8, 15-11, though
Eagles' coach Nora Geron said a new lineup did hold off the Rebels for a
while at match point.
Geron said problems handling serves hurt Pecos on Tuesday, and she tried
a couple of different back line setups, as well as using senior Denise
Camarena at setter in the match against Lee.
"Lori (Marquez) has pretty much got a spot on the back line, and Marisol
(Arenivas) is back there," Geron said. "Gail (Taylor) does an excellent
job with service receptions, but she needs to work on her defense some."
Like Pecos, Kermit is struggling in the early going, losing a pair of
matches on Tuesday to Odessa Permian and Fort Stockton, whom they beat
for the Cantaloupe Classic title last season. El Paso Bowie placed
second a week ago at the Monahans Sandhills Tournament, which used a
double-elimination format. The Bears lost a three-set semifinal match to
the Loboes, then came through the loser's bracket and beat Monahans in
two games, before falling 15-10, 15-7 in the championship match.
However, the tournament favorite figures to by Seminole, which failed to
reach the finals in Pecos for the first time in five years last season.
Last weekend, the Maidens finished second to Lubbock Coronado in the
Lubbock Invitational, which included a 15-0, 15-13 whipping of defending
District 4-4A champion Andrews in the quarterfinals. Seminole beat
Lamesa on Tuesday by 15-2, 15-12 scores.
They'll be paired with El Pecos Socorro, Fort Stockton and Presidio in
their pool on Friday. The other two pools match Midland High,
Grandfalls, El Paso Parkland and Midland Greenwood, and El Paso Irvin,
San Elizario, Fort Hancock and Alpine.
The top two finishers in each pool will advance to quarterfinal round
play Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., while consolation round play opens
at 8 a.m. The consolation finals are set for 3:45 p.m., while fifth,
third and first place championship round matches will start at 5, 6:15
and 7:30 p.m.
In the JV division, the Eagles also come in with a 2-4 mark and begin
play at 8 a.m. Friday against Midland Christian. They'll face Alpine at
noon and Fort Stockton at 4 p.m. Midland High, Monahans, Greenwood and
Andrews make up the other pool for Friday's matches in the old gym.
Pecos' two freshman teams started their tournament in both gyms today.
The purple team faced Alpine, Fort Stockton and Crane at 4:30, 5:30 and
6:30 p.m., while the gold team took on Monahans, Greenwood and Andrews
at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Consolation play opens Saturday's action in the JV division and 9 a.m.,
with the tournament title game set for 4 p.m. in the old gym. The times
are the same for the freshmen teams, who'll be over at the Zavala Middle
School gym on Saturday.
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The Dallas Cowboys running back gets to test his tender knee today in
his first practice since Aug. 17.
``I feel very good about my chances Monday night,'' Smith said
Wednesday. ``I'll know for sure in the next couple of days, but I
believe I will be able to play.
``I think they are going to give me the ball as long as I can stand
Since Smith suffered a strained left knee ligament in the second quarter
of a preseason game against Denver, Cowboys coaches have hoped he would
rebound like he always does from injury.
``He's a tough son-of-a-gun,'' running backs coach Joe Brodsky said.
``We always expect him to heal fast. But you always wonder if this is
the one time he won't be able to play.''
Salaam, meanwhile, was deemed unable to go on Monday, after setting the
team rookie rushing record last year with 1,074 yards. He gained 153
yards on 38 carries this preseason, but pulled his right hamstring and
sprained his right knee on the same play during last Thursday's
exhibition finale. ]
``He's wanting to play. But he's still got a little bit of swelling. He
can't go full speed,'' coach Dave Wannstedt said after Salaam could only
jog through Wednesday's practice. ``He'd play if it was up to him, but
that wouldn't be the best thing for the team. We have to be realistic.''
Wannstedt said Salaam's knee was almost healed.
The Bears' coach said he hadn't decided if he would move Raymont Harris
from fullback to tailback, with Tony Carter starting at fullback, or if
Robert Green would start in the backfield with Harris.
``Between Robert and Raymont, they'll be the guys carrying the ball.
We've just got to figure out how we're going to do it and in what order
and the plays, now that we know for sure Rashaan's out,'' Wannstedt
``What makes it tough is that (Salaam) had such an outstanding
preseason, an outstanding training camp, and everything was gearing for
the opener. And he's the guy who's gotten all the reps with the first
unit for six weeks now.''
(Copyright 1996 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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