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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Eagles seek different result in familiar surroundings

Staff Writer

The surroundings should look a little familiar to the Pecos  Eagles tonight, when they face the Lamesa Golden Tornadoes in the  bi-district round of the Class 3A volleyball playoffs, which may be good  news. But the opponent will also be a little familiar to Pecos, which based on  the Eagles' regular season results in the 2002 season is bad news.

The Eagles face the Tornadoes in the playoffs for the fourth time ever and the first time since 1996 tonight, with Pecos coming in with a 14-15 season record after their win over Fort Davis in a practice game this past Saturday, while Lamesa is 25-7 after defeating Seminole in a District 3-3A second place playoff match on Saturday.

Tonight's match will be played at Odessa Ector Junior High School, on Clemens Street on the south side of Odessa. The colors inside may be a little different, but the building itself is the sister structure to the Pecos High School gym, having been completed from the same blueprint in 1982, about a year before the Eagles' gym was finished.

However, whether at home or on the road this season, the Eagles have been consistent at repeating earlier results against teams. The Eagles defeated district rivals Fort Stockton all four times they met, and Kermit and Presidio three times, while winning twice against Fort Davis and Van Horn. But on the other side, the Eagles lost three times to Monahans, twice to Midland Greenwood and twice to Alpine and Odessa High.

Given those results, and a 15-6, 15-12 pool round loss at the Seminole Tournament against Lamesa on Sept. 6, the odds are against the Eagles tonight. But coach Becky Granado is hoping her team can show some more confidence in themselves tonight when they face the Tors for the second time this season.

"I was talking to them a while ago and told them they need to believe in themselves," Granado said. "I said `You need to do something good for yourself' and `Don't be afraid to believe in yourself'."

"It all boils down to us not being nervous. I need for all of them to be aggressive and don't hold back," Granado said.

The Eagles changed up their back line defense prior to Saturday's match against Fort Davis, and will stay with that change tonight. Pecos will also have to go without senior Vanessa Garcia, who sprained her ankle last week.

"All she's going to do is serve," Granado said. "She wants to play, but she can't move laterally, so Erica (Franco) will come in and play back line."

Up front, the Eagles do get back junior Leslie Rodriguez, who missed Saturday's match to compete in the Region I-3A cross-country meet. Granado is hoping she and the Eagles' other front line players can do better the second time around against Lamesa than they did two months ago.

"They're similar to Greenwood. Their strongest hitter is No. 24 (Llana Castro). She hits from the strong side, so that's where we'll set up out big blocks," Granado said. "Their offense isn't as quick as Monahans; their sets are very high, so hopefully that will be to our advantage, and we'll be able to get our blockers over there. But the kids on the back line will have to keep their feet moving."

Ashley Hunter and Brittany Roberts were the Tors' other main hitters this season, while Chelsea Reeves and Julie Meador are Lamesa's other front line players. The Tors ended up with a 10-3 record in district play to finish behind 12-0 Denver City, while Pecos was 6-4 in district, losing to Monahans and Greenwood, which faces Seminole at Andrews tonight in their bi-district playoff match.

The drop from Class 4A to 3A by Pecos this year will have an effect on the Eagles' playoff status if they get past tonight's match. Unlike 4A, not all schools in 3A play volleyball and as a result, the winner of tonight's match will draw an area round bye this coming weekend, and will await the winner of Saturday's Monahans-Perryton match. That regional quarterfinal match would be scheduled for next week at a site and time to be determined.

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Pecos Enterprise
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