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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Wednesday, August 23, 2000

Eagles take time to heat up in Midland

PECOS, Aug. 23, 2000 -- If Midland voters pass their bond issue for building and improving on their local high schools, the Pecos Eagles’ volleyball team already has one project in mind.

Air-condition the Midland Lee gym.

Coach Veronica Valenzuela, who again was subbing for head coach Becky Granado on Tuesday, said the Eagles had problems dealing with the heat in the Lee gym, dropping their opening match to Snyder, 15-11, 16-14, before coming back to beat the host Rebels, 15-3, 5-15, 15-7.

“We should have beaten Snyder, but we didn’t play with the intensity we did over the weekend,” at the Monahans Sandhills Tournament, Valenzuela said. “Snyder was a tough team, but we didn’t play. We kept complaining about the gym being too hot.”

The Eagles did rally in the second game against the Tigers, taking a 14-13 lead, only to see the Tigers break serve and then score three straight points for the victory.

“We tried to come back in the second game, but we just didn’t look like we wanted it like we did over the weekend, and we just had to deal with the gym begin hot like that,” Valenzuela said. “It felt like our old (Pecos High School) gym used to feel.”

Against Lee, the Eagles jumped out to an 11-0 lead in Game 1, but Valenzuela said it wasn’t until the third game, “that we finally started realizing where the holes were and work up.

“The defense didn’t look too bad, it was just the hitters had problems and our blockers’ problem was they were playing a little too far from the net and the ball kept coming down on our side,” Valenzuela said.

Pecos jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third game, then with the score 8-4 the Eagles put things away with a 6-0 run that got them to match point. Midland scored once more before the Eagles finished off the match and improved their season record to 8-2.

Valenzuela said Philly Fobbs, Ashley Salcido and Alexa Marquez did good jobs hitting the ball in the deciding game against Lee. “Everybody wanted to hit in into the block before then, but in the third game they finally started finding holes. We also did get a few good blocks from D’Andra (Ortega) and Philly.”

Lee, 0-5 on the season earlier had dropped a 9-15, 15-9, 15-7 game to the Tigers, who are now 4-2 this year. In junior varsity play, the Rebels and Tigers both defeated Pecos, Snyder by 15-4, 15-6 scores and Lee by 15-12, 15-6 margins.

The freshmen Eagles were supposed to travel to Crane on Tuesday, but Valenzuela said those games were canceled. Both freshmen teams will be at home Thursday for pool round play in the Pecos Cantaloupe Classic, while the JV and varsity open their pool round play on Friday, with the varsity taking on El Paso Riverside, Kermit and Van Horn.

Bears corral Vaqueros, 15-10, 15-4

Staff Writer

BALMORHEA, Aug. 23, 2000 -- The Balmorhea Bears used some good defense and overcame  some early serving problems Tuesday night to win their 2000 volleyball  home opener, 15-10, 15-4 over the Sierra Blanca Lady Vaqueros.

"We've improved a lot," said Bears' coach Gary Gallego. "Last week we went to Sierra Blanca and they beat us in three games, though to be honest, today Sierra Blanca looked a little flat. They weren't moving for the balls like they did over there, but it was not the low ceiling that was the problem, because they've got a low one over there."

The rafters at the Balmorhea High School gym came into play several times, deflecting bumps, relays and even a couple of serves for both teams. But the Bears and Vaqueros had other serving problems in the early going, when both teams went nearly a full rotation without scoring.

Balmorhea held a 4-2 lead at that point, off a couple of Sierra Blanca mistakes, a tip by Celina Rodriguez and an ace serve by Terri Hernandez. Another ace, this one by Rodriguez, would finally break the drought, and the Bears would widen their lead to as much as 7-2 before the Vaqueros rallied.

Balmorhea errors, including one relay off a rafter, accounted for most of the points, and allowed Sierra Blanca to tie the score at 8-all. But after a time out, the Bears regained the lead after a bad serve by Sierra Blanca and a bad relay by Sonia Ortega. That started a 5-0 run by the Bears that got them to game point, and included a tip of an overset by Amber Briceno, a tip by Rodriguez over Ortega and an ace by Tobi Gomez.

Ortega would get Sierra Blanca back within four, off a spike on a Balmorhea overset and an ace serve, but the Bears were able to break serve after that and win when Jacquie Bustamante's relay got caught up in the rafters.

The Bears would get their first two points of Game 2 off ace serves, by Julia Garlick and Gomez, with the second putting the Bears ahead to stay. Balmorhea would go up by a 7-1 score later, off an ace by Rodriguez, and after Sierra Blanca scored once more, the Bears ran off seven more points, mostly on unforced errors, before the Vaqueros got back on the scoreboard on a block of Rodriguez by Ortega.

"I'm trying to get the girls to realize when they're only sending one blocker they've got to hit around them, and they don't have to try and hit it 80 miles per hour every time," Gallego said. "Like that last play where that girl (Ortega) blocked her, the next time she angled it past her."

Rodriguez was able to find a hole for her much softer shot moment later, and while the Vaqueros did get one more point off a Balmorhea error, the Bears were able to end the game moments later when Ortega was called for a net violation.

The win lifted Balmorhea's season record to 3-4, going into this weekend's Fort Davis Tournament. Balmorhea's junior high girls also came out winners in their home opener against Sierra Blanca, downing the Vaqueros by a 15-12, 7-15, 15-6 score.

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Pecos Enterprise
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