Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise


Pecos Country History
Archive 62
Archive 74
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99
Archive 2000
Photos 2000

Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, August 28, 2000

Eagles rally to win tournament

Staff Writer
PECOS, Aug. 28, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles worked hard to get the present they wanted for head coach Becky Granado Saturday night, and couldn't wait to show it to her once they got it.

The `present' in this case was the championship trophy for the Pecos Cantaloupe Classic Volleyball Tournament, which the team presented to Granado at her family's home shortly after the Eagles won their first title in three years with a three-game victory over the Seminole Maidens.

"They wanted to be able to take coach Granado the trophy," said coach Veronica Valenzuela, who has subbed for Granado since the Eagles' first pre-season scrimmage on Aug. 11. Granado's father suffered a heart attack that day and died Friday morning, just before the start of the Cantaloupe Tournament.

To get the trophy the Eagles had to survive a series of letdowns after opening game victories, and had to endure the heat, due to a broken air-conditioning system at the Pecos High School gym, something they had problems coping with earlier in the week at Midland.

"They thought I was doing it on purpose," Valenzuela said of the hot conditions in the gym. "I said I had nothing to do with it."

The Eagles were fast starters in all of their Saturday matches, winning 15-5 over El Paso Parkland in the morning, 15-7 over Wink in the afternoon and 15-4 over Seminole in the championship game. But all three times, the Eagles struggled in Game 2, though Parkland wasn't able to take advantage of their mistakes in the quarterfinal match. Pecos won that one, 15-9, but then lost to the Wildcats by a 16-14 score and fell to the Maidens, 15-8.

The Eagles were able to regroup in Game 3 against Wink, and trailed only once, at 2-1, on the way to a 15-6 victory. But the title game against Seminole was a much bigger struggle, as Pecos had problems finding openings in the early going against the quicker Maidens, and fell behind by 8-3 and 11-6 scores.

But by the time the Maidens got to within three points of winning the match, at 12-8, both teams had run out of substitutions and had a stick with the same six players. That worked out to the Eagles' advantage, as their six seniors were able to hold down their mistakes, while Seminoles underclassmen had their problems at the end.

Pearle Dale and Sarah Hill had three bad spikes, while Katie Hughes failed to move in time for a free ball during a 5-1 Pecos run. Alexa Marquez added a kill during the stretch, while a missed spike by Raeanne Villalva tied the game at 12-12.

Seminole was able to break serve and take one last lead on an ace by Dale, but the Eagles got the serve back and tied the game on a bad set by Hill, then took a 14-13 lead on a spike of a bad Seminole relay by Philly Fobbs. The Eagles missed chance to win the game once, allowing a free ball tap by Hill to fall inbounds, and saw Seminole tie the game when an Ashley Salcido spike sailed out of bounds, but once more Pecos was able to break serve and this time won on two Maidens' errors, as Hill and Dale let a free ball fall on a mix-up over a spike attempt, and Hughes' back line hit then hovered on the top edge of the net, before falling back down onto Seminole's side of the court.

"We had a couple of calls I wasn't real happy with, but I told them we just needed to keep playing our game," Valenzuela said. "We started playing a lot smarter in the third game, and once we got our intensity going we did all right."

The Eagles trailed briefly in Game 1, by a 2-0 score, and then ran off 10 straight points, starting with an ace serve by Salcido. That's also how the Eagles finished the game off, while taking advantage of a series of unforced Maidens' errors in between those two aces.

In Game 2, Seminole jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never trailed, using a pair of ace serves by Sarah Hill to open things up again after Pecos had narrowed the gap to 5-2 and then using three kills and a dink for points by Dale as part of a 6-0 run, which turned an 8-5 Maidens lead into a 14-5 advantage.

"We just lost momentum in the second game. We started out real well and had a lot of enthusiasm, but then we just lost it," Valenzuela said.

In the win over Wink, the Eagles pulled away in the middle of Game 1, using a couple of kills by Fobbs to go on an 8-2 run after a block of Fobbs by Kelli Bennan made it 7-5. Game 2 against the Wildcats was a lot like Game 2 against Seminole until the end, when a serve by Dee Dee Molinar and a spike by Kayln Lara set off a 6-0 run by the Eagles that brought them from a 13-8 deficit to a 14-13 lead.

However, this time, the lack of substitutions hurt Pecos. D'Andra Ortega served match point over the back line, and the Wildcats were able to rally for the win, as Ortega blocked Lindsey Graham out of bounds and Lara and Fobbs then hit kills out.

In the third game, both teams swapped mistakes for points early, before the Eagles got things going with ace serves from Salcido and Molinar and a hit by Lara. Ortega would spike a Wildcat overset after that, while Fobbs would add a kill and a game-ending tip during a closing 5-0 run, after Wink had closed to within 10-6.

The Eagles had opened pool round play on Friday by shutting out El Paso Riverside, 15-4, 15-4 (actually 11-0, 11-0, since both teams start with four points in pool round matches) then blanked Kermit in Game 1 of their next pool match before the second game letdowns began. They ended up defeating the Yellowjackets in Game 2 by a 15-10 score, then defeated Van Horn in their final pool match, 15-9, 15-13.

The Eagles did have to adjust to a different lineup during the tournament, after losing setter Jessica Rodriguez to a broken nose in their opening match against Riverside. Molinar ended up doing all the setting for the Eagles, and Valenzuela said the change was "not as much (a problem) as what I thought. They adjusted real well to the substitution.

"We just need to work with Dee Dee in that situation. I told he when she's front line (on the rotation) when she's up there she can kill it," Valenzuela said.

Molinar was named to the all-tournament team, while Becky Dominguez received outstanding defensive player and Fobbs was named outstanding hitter for the second week in a row, after both won those awards at the Monahans Sandhills Tournament. The 5-foot-4 Villalva, who was able to spike the ball over taller players a number of times in the title match, was named tournament MVP, while Melissa Hill and Dale also were named to the all-tournament squad.

Wink's Ella Fernandes was named outstanding setter, and Mallory Bryan also received all-tournament honors for the Wildcats, who beat Monahans for third place, 8-15, 15-6, 15-10. The other all-tournament selections were Presidio's Blanca Coffman, Monahans' Stephanie Taylor and Christie Bates and Riverside's Alana Wayne. Presidio took fifth place in the tournament while Van Horn won consolation.

The Eagles improved their season record to 11-2 with the win while Seminole lost for the first time in six matches this season.

Pecos' freshmen took first place in their own tournament on Saturday. They defeated Fort Stockton in the semifinals, 15-7, 10-15, 15-8, beat Odessa High's sophomore team for the title, 15-6, 15-13.

In the JV division, Pecos finished fifth on Saturday, defeating Presidio after a loss to Monahans. Odessa High's JV defeated Alpine in three games to win the tournament title.

Search Entire Site:

Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise