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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Wednesday, October 7, 1998

Eagles start strong, then struggle to win

Staff Writer
PECOS, Oct. 7 -- Like turning around a battleship in an
ocean or pulling a freight train uphill, once the Pecos
Eagles volleyball team loses momentum, its tough for them to
get back up to speed again.

For the third time in as many weeks, the Eagles came out and
dominated a District 2-4A rival at the start of their match
at the Pecos High School gym. Tuesday night, San Elizario
was on the receiving end, as the Eagles cruised out to a
15-1 opening victory, then took a 9-5 lead in the second

But for the third time in as many weeks, the Eagles
proceeded to lose their momentum and were barely able to
escape with a victory. San Elizario came back to win the
second game, 15-13, then rallied from an 11-6 deficit in the
third game to tie Pecos at 12-all before the Eagles were
able to hold on for a 15-13 victory.

"We get out there and almost let them come back and beat
us," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "I don't think we've
learned we have to go out every time and play ball."

Pecos' on-court chemistry has been fragile in their district
home matches -- any little change seems to cause major
damage. After they cruised to their opening game win,
Granado gave her reserves some playing time in Game 2, but
the chemistry between the starters and the subs never
materialized, and the starters were never able to get
consistently back into synch in Game 3.

"We have some people trying to do too much, and some just
want to stand out there," said Granado. "The kids who want
to play have got to get after it."

The opening game featured several kills by Sherrie Mosby,
Shaye Lara and Philonicus Fobbs, along with some unforced
errors by the visiting Eagles, who appeared intimidated at
the outset of play. Granado ended up calling the game's
first time out, with a 12-0 lead, after her players put two
straight serves into the net.

"We just stopped serving again," said Granado, and while it
was a minor problem at the start, the bad serves would
almost cost Pecos the match at the finish.

Pecos held a 5-1 lead in Game 2 when a trio of bad hits by
Fobbs got San Elizario within a point. The Eagles then got
their lead back up to 9-5 on a Linsey Hathorn kill when the
wheels came off. Hathorn's next spike went into the net, and
Monique Levario would also put one there moments later. A
pair of aces by Cynthia Medina and Kathy Flores followed,
and were part of San Elizario's 9-2 run that gave them a
14-11 lead.

A bad hit by Rosario Flores and a Hathorn kill got Pecos to
within 14-13, but Flores then dinked the ball over Pecos'
front line and a overset kill attempt by Lara went into the
net to give San Elizario the win.

Pecos jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the final game, only to
see San Elizario come back to go ahead 6-5, off mishandled
serves by Mosby and Hathorn. Mosby came back to block
Rosario Flores, which tied the game and sent Pecos on a 6-0
run that appeared to put them in control.

But again the Eagles lost focus and allowed San Elizario to
retie the game with their own 5-0 run, two of those points
coming off desperation back line saves that fell in between
Pecos' players.

An ace by Leslie Brown broke the streak, but San Elizario
would tie things up again at 12-12 before a bad hit by Yoli
Tapia and a Mosby spike got Pecos to match point. However,
the Eagles' bad serves then almost did them in -- they
missed their next three attempts, allowing the visitors to
cut the gap to 14-13 on a Rosario Flores spike before a
cross-court kill by Fobbs broke serve and setter Maria
Huerta's dink attempt went out of bounds, giving Pecos the

The win gives the Eagles a 4-1 record in district play, 12-9
overall, while San Elizario fell to 2-3 in district, 12-11
overall. But things get tougher for Pecos in the second
half, as they have their three toughest games in El Paso,
starting with a 4 p.m. match Saturday against first place
Fabens. Pecos jumped out to a 14-2 lead in the opener last
month against the Wildcats, only to see Fabens rally for a
three-game victory.

"Fabens is going to be tough, and these homecoming
activities this week aren't going to do us any good," said
Granado. "It's going to be tough having to practice with two
of our starters (homecoming queen nominees Levario and
Hathorn) gone."

Bears edged at Imperial in district opener

PECOS, Oct. 7 -- The Balmorhea Bears volleyball team came
up just short of a road victory in their District 3-A opener
Tuesday night, as the dropped a 15-8, 6-15, 15-13 decision
at Imperial to the Buena Vista Longhorns.

"It was a close deal all the way through," said Bears'
coach James Meredith. "In the third game we were ahead most
of the way, and then it was back and forth at the end. There
were pretty good plays on both sides, but they just made a
couple more at the finish."

"We got real good play out of our setter, Brenda
Dutchover," Meredith said, adding that Amanda Lozano also
had a good night serving for the Bears, who are 5-10 on the

Balmorhea plays their district home opener this Saturday
evening, against the state-ranked Wink Wildcats. Wink opened
their district schedule on Tuesday with a 15-9, 15-9 victory
over Grandfalls.

Yanks hit Indians with quick Wright hook

AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK, Oct. 7 -- Stomping the Cleveland Indians wasn't
enough for David Wells and the New York Yankees.

They wanted to bury them, break their spirit, send a
message that Cleveland's upset win last year won't happen

So even after pitching 8 1-3 shutout innings in Tuesday
night's 7-2 win in the series opener, it wasn't enough for
Wells, who gave up a two-run homer Manny Ramirez in the

Wells, after all, knows something about perfection.

``I was geared tonight. I really wanted this,'' Wells said.
``You win the first game, it can set a tone.''

The tone the Yankees are setting is of a train whistle --
on a train steaming over everything in sight. They blew out
Jaret Wright with a five-run first inning that left a row of
blank, confused faces in the Indians' dugout.

And it doesn't get any easier for Cleveland, which has
fallen behind 1-0 in a postseason series for the eighth
straight time.

David Cone, who tied for the AL lead in wins at 20-7, was
scheduled to pitch in Yankee Stadium's famous October
twilight shadows today against the Indians' Charles Nagy.

``Most teams have one No. 1 starter,'' Indians manager Mike
Hargrove lamented. ``The Yankees are a little more blessed
than others.''

Wells, who pitched a perfect game against Minnesota on May
17, had 23 consecutive shutout innings before Ramirez's 12th
postseason homer. After manager Joe Torre took Wells out of
the game, the Boomer was so angry he sent his glove slamming
into the dugout telephone on his way to the clubhouse.

``I just made a pitch that was stupid and left it down the
middle,'' he said.

OK, but what about the 99 percent of the game the Yankees'

After losing to Cleveland in the first round last year,
some of the Yankees thought a message needed to be sent --
especially to Wright, who beat them twice in last year's
five-series. And who broke a bone in Luis Sojo's hand with a
spring training pitch. And who hit Paul O'Neill with a pitch
during the season.

``If he gets into a rhythm, he's tough to beat,'' Yankees
shortstop Derek Jeter said. ``We wanted to jump on him early
and get the crowd into the game.''

Singles by Chuck Knoblauch, Jeter and O'Neill put the
Yankees ahead and brought pitching coach Mark Wiley out to
the mound.

An RBI single by Bernie Williams made it 2-0 and brought
action in the bullpen Tino Martinez bounced into a fielder's
choice and Tim Raines struck out, but Wright threw a
run-scoring wild pitch, walked Shane Spencer, then left
after Jorge Posada singled in another run. Scott Brosius
singled in run off Chad Ogea for a 5-0 lead.

``I didn't want to have it snowball on me,'' said Wright,
who gave up a pair of three-run homers in the Game 1 loss to
Boston last week. ``Obviously, it did.''

Of Wright's 36 pitches, just 18 were strikes. The Yankees
swung and missed just twice against him.

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