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Monday, August 30, 1999

Greenwood takes title, Eagles fifth again

Staff Writer
PECOS, Aug. 30, 1999 -- The oddsmakers would have taken a beating on the Pecos Cantaloupe Classic, if there was any betting on high school volleyball.

Most of the favored teams went home disappointed, while Greenwood _ the team that had been favored to win the tournament two years ago, but didn't _ came away with the title this time around.

As for the Pecos Eagles, they finished fifth for the second straight season in their own tournament. But unlike last season, when the Eagles were taken out in the quarterfinals by El Paso Bowie, this year they took themselves out, as coach Becky Granado sat down starters Philonicus Fobbs and Amy Chabarria for disciplinary reasons in their quarterfinal match against Fort Stockton.

Even without the two, the Eagles managed to score a 15-4 victory in the opener, and held a six point lead midway through the second game. But Pecos wasn't able to get their offense going after that, while the Prowlers began connecting on their outside hits and rallied for a 15-12 win, then won the deciding game by a 15-4 score.

Granado said the two showed up late for warm-ups before Saturday's 11 a.m. match. "I think all of them learned they need to realize there are rules to be followed and if you don't follow the rules there are going to be consequences," Granado said. "I hate doing that, but I have to teach them."

Amanda Chavara led the Prowlers comeback, while Lindsey Andrews and Amanda Monts also came up with kills in the second and third games for Fort Stockton. Meanwhile, the Eagles were unable to find the holes for their shots the way they did in the early going, and were blocked several times on spike attempts over the middle.

"I keep telling them when they have a big blocker taking the cross court (spike) away, they have to slice it down the line," Granado said. Salcido did the best job with down the line shots, and ended up earning all-tournament honors for Pecos.

Things went much better for the Eagles in their final two tournament matches. They swept past Marfa by 15-6, 15-4 scores, then posted a surprisingly easy 15-0, 15-9 victory over Monahans, after the Loboes had eliminated pre-tournament favorite Seminole earlier in the afternoon.

Chabarria and Dee Dee Molinar had ace serves in the win over the Shorthorns, who also didn't have the size to deal with Fobbs in the middle. She had a par of kills in Game 2, after Marfa took a 3-0 lead, while Alexa Marquez had back-to-back spikes late, capping a 14-0 run that put Pecos in command.

The Eagles really didn't have to do anything but watch Ashley Salcido serve in their 15-0 blanking of the Loboes. Monahans was unable to handle a series of Salcido's serves, while D'Andra Ortega and Marquez also scored points off kills in the shutout victory.

The Loboes fared better in the early going of Game 2, with Mandy Wilson and Vanessa Collins scoring off kills to give Monahans a 4-2 lead. The Eagles would regain the lead and go up 7-4 before Monahans tied it once more at 8-8.

Monahans then fell apart again, allowing five straight points on unforced errors before the Eagles finished things off, on hits by Fobbs and Marquez.

"I don't know why, but Monahans just had a hard time with our serves," Granado said. "They gave Seminole a much better game."

Fort Stockton, meanwhile, was beaten by Grandfalls in their tournament semifinal match, while Greenwood, after sweeping Seminole in their quarterfinal, did the same to Alpine in the semifinals, then beat Grandfalls in the championship match, 15-9, 15-5. Before that match, the Prowlers claimed third place with a 15-9, 8-15, 15-13 win over Alpine.

Greenwood's Stephanie Willis was named tournament MVP, and teammate Rocio Montoya was also an all-tournament selection. Grandfalls' Misty Stokes and Donna Rodriguez were the outstanding setter and defensive player, while Alpine's Oleta McWilliams was named outstanding hitter. The other all-tournament picks were Andrews and Jessica Carrillo from Fort Stockton, Amanda Dominguez from Alpine, Amanda Krane from Monahans and Cynthia Arieta from Fabens.

Pecos' JV and freshmen teams both went 1-1 in tournament play on Saturday. The freshmen beat Monahans, 15-10, 11-15, 15-13, then lost to Crane, 15-11, 15-6, while the JV lost to Odessa High before beating Monahans for third.

All three Pecos teams will be back on the road Tuesday, for a dual meet in Alpine against the Bucks and Odessa High. Pecos lost to Alpine and beat OHS in Odessa to open the season two weeks ago.

Rangers post sweep, add to Jays' woes

TORONTO, Aug. 30, 1999 (AP) The Toronto Blue Jays might have let their playoff hopes slip away with nine straight home losses.

Rafael Palmeiro set a team record with his 39th RBI of the month as the Texas Rangers defeated the Blue Jays 4-2 Sunday.

Toronto, which fell four games back in the AL wild-card race, is in the midst of its second-worst home losing streak ever. The 1977 expansion Blue Jays dropped 11 in a row at Exhibition Stadium.

"We need to get going," Toronto starter Roy Halladay said. "It's weird that we're not winning at home."

The AL West-leading Rangers swept the three-game series and won their fourth straight overall. Texas (79-52) moved 27 games over .500 for the first time in club history, and only five of their final 31 games are against teams with winning records.

"We're not going to try to cruise toward the postseason. We're trying to build momentum, and we're trying to get better and we're trying to figure out how to be on full speed when we enter the playoffs," Palmeiro said.

Palmeiro's RBI single and Todd Zeile's two-run homer in the fourth inning gave Texas a 3-1 lead. Palmeiro broke the Rangers' record of 38 RBIs in a month, set by Juan Gonzalez in July 1996.

"We're not concentrating on individual accomplishments, we just want to keep winning," Palmeiro said.

Shannon Stewart extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a single in the first inning for Toronto.

John Burkett (5-7) allowed one run and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Halladay (8-6) gave up three runs on eight hits in 6 2-3 innings.

"I made one bad pitch to Zeile and it ended up costing us the game," Halladay said.

The Blue Jays loaded the bases with no outs in the first, but scored just one run on Carlos Delgado's RBI single. Burkett struck out Tony Batista for the first out and got Willie Greene to hit into a double play.

"I had no idea where my fastball was going, so I decided I was going to have to get them with my breaking stuff," Burkett said. "Luckily, I was able to make a couple of key pitches and get out of it."

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Pecos Enterprise
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