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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Eagles end up with split after long opening night

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagles' first experience with the new "rally scoring" system for Texas high school volleyball teams on Tuesday showed a few things will be true in the 2003 season:

* The concession stands need to stock up on extra sodas, popcorn and other foods this season - the matches this year are going to be long ones.

* Any team that can't serve well and can't handle serves well is in trouble

* Any team that falls behind by a large margin late in a game is going to have a much harder time rallying for a victory this season.

The Eagles benefited from the last two items in their season-opening match against the Van Horn Eagles at the Williams Center in Fort Stockton on Tuesday, but were victimized by those same things in their second match, against the Alpine Bucks.

The first match, against Van Horn, also showed that the new scoring system, which eliminates service breaks and changes matches to 25 point best-three-of-five games isn't going to speed up matches as its supporters claimed. The two Eagle teams spend over two hours on the court to play just four games, with Pecos coming away with a 25-21, 25-19, 15-25, 25-21 victory.

The match against Alpine lasted only an hour and 20 minutes, but that wasn't good news for the Eagles, as they were swept by the Bucks, 25-14, 25-15, 25-22. Problems both serving and handling serves did in Pecos in the first two games, while in the third game the Eagles tried to come back from a 22-16 deficit, but couldn't avoid making three final mistakes, while narrowing the gap to 24-22 at the finish.

"In that second game we had six missed serves. When we miss our serves now, we're just giving them easy points," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "In the third game, we did real well to come back. We hustled and never gave up, but it's going to be hard to come back, because when you make a mistake they're going to score, so the team that gets the big lead is probably going to end up winning.

The Bucks' front line seniors Laci Langford and Aliston Pogue were able to go over the Eagles' front line a number of times for spikes, but overall, Pecos caused most of its own problems by failing to handle Alpine's serves or set up their own hitters for kills.

Danielle Garcia had a couple of spikes and dinks for points late in Game 2, but that came after the Eagles had fallen behind by a 20-8 score. In the third game, Leslie Rodriguez found some openings on the court to cut a 17-10 deficit to 17-14, but a spike by Mimi Fort and a couple of Pecos errors allowed the Bucks to eventually widen that margin back to seven, before some Alpine errors and a couple of hits by Garcia and Bre'Ann Windham got the Eagles back to within two points.

Against Van Horn, it was Pecos taking advantage of serve and service reception problems to score wins. Four errors by Van Horn and a tip by Lilly Valdez in Game 1 helped Pecos break a 20-20 tie to win.

Van Horn got some kills from Vivian Anchondo and Samantha Davis in all four games, but they also had a number of late hitting errors that helped Pecos win Games 2 and 4. The Eagles were able to maintain a six-point lead throughout most of Game 2, while recovering from their own problems in their third game loss to outscore Van Horn 6-2 in the fourth game to clinch the match. Garcia had a spike to break a 19-19 tie, while Pecos ended up winning on a bad serve by Amanda French.

"That's what rally scoring is going to be about. You can't give them any free points," said Granado, whose team will face Lubbock Cooper and Plainview in pool round play at the Monahans Sandhills Tournament on Friday.

Pecos' junior varsity was on the court even longer than the varsity on Tuesday, winning a 25-23, 12-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-10 victory over Alpine at 10:30 p.m. after beating Van Horn, 25-12, 25-14, 25-15 in a game that started 51/2 hours earlier. Pecos' freshmen also won their matches, which were only best two-out-of-three, defeating Fort Stockton, 23-25, 25-3, 25-22, and then beating Alpine, 14-25, 25-20, 25-19.

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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

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