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Friday, October 29, 1999

Eagles flat in  loss to Prowlers

Staff Writer
PECOS, Oct. 29, 1999 -- Lack of motivation was something Pecos Eagles' volleyball coach Becky Granado wondered about on Tuesday, while talking about the team's opponent the night before. But on Thursday night, Granado was wondering the same thing about her own squad, after their homecourt loss to the Fort Stockton Prowlers.

"I'm just disappointed in them. We're starting to become a team like (El Paso) Mountain View, trying to go to the playoffs, but there's no excitement," Granado said, after the Eagles dropped a 10-15, 15-8, 15-8 playoff practice match to Fort Stockton. "Losing doesn't seem to bother them."

Pecos had nothing to play for on Monday, but went to El Paso and swept Mountain View, which could have clinched a playoff berth with a victory. There was nothing on the line in Thursday's match for either team -- Fort Stockton was also warming up for their playoff game with Burleson - but Granado was hoping her team would do a better job preparing for Saturday's 2 p.m. bi-district playoff against El Paso High, at Burges High School in El Paso.

One thing that did hurt Pecos was in preparing for Saturday's match-up Granado shifted her line-up, starting D'Andra Ortega on the front line and bringing in Philonicus Fobbs halfway through the rotation. Pecos was able to get through the first game without problems, but in the second game the Eagles were down 9-1 by the time Fobbs entered the game.

"El Paso has two big girls (Lorena Chavez and Erica Herrera) and we were just looking and where we were going to have Philly and D'Andra," Granado said. "They have their best player starting on the back line, but if that's the way we're going to play I'm going to have to put Philly back in there, because we can't get ourselves in a hole like that."

Pecos was able to grab an early lead and maintain at least a three-point margin in the opener, but in the second game the Prowlers got early blocks by Amanda Chivira and Lindsey Andrews and kills by Andrews and Whitney Lowther to take their 9-1 lead. The Eagles did rally to within 9-7 when Fort Stockton had problems with Ashley Salcido's serves, but Pecos then had serve reception problems of their own from Deidra Leyva and Arcie Primera, allowing the Prowlers to pull away again.

In the third game the Eagles were down by just one when Fobbs rotated up front, but she ran into problems of her own. Chavira scored off a spike and an ace, while Fobbs spiked a couple of kills out of bounds in a 5-0 run by Fort Stockton and the Eagles were unable to score a point on their own after that.

They did get four points off Prowler errors, but Primera, Andrews and Amanda Monk were able to put down kills in and around their missed hits.

"Our girls just want to do their own thing," Granado said of the Eagles' inability to put down kills when it counted. "They ask where the holes are, but when we tell them, it's all for nothing."

"It will be interesting to see what we do on Saturday, if we do anything," Granado said. El Paso High defeated Pecos three years ago in the bi-district round of the playoffs, and finished third in District 1-4A this year, dropping their final regular season match to 1-4A champ El Paso Bowie, 15-9, 7-15, 15-6.

The winner of the match gets to face No. 1-ranked Hereford in the area round of the Class 4A playoff next Tuesday. Saturday's match will be held at Burges High School, located on Edgemere Blvd., between Airway and Hawkins Blvds. north of the Cielo Vista Mall off Interstate 10.

Tennis, cross country hope to stay alive

PECOS, Oct. 29, 1999 -- The Pecos Eagles tennis and cross country teams will be hoping to keep their 1999 seasons going today and Saturday, with the tennis team entered in regional competition at Wichita Falls while the cross country runners go to Fabens for the District 2-4A meet.

Both teams figure to be matched against some of the top competitors in the state. The tennis team was scheduled to play this morning, probably versus either Wichita Falls or Wichita Falls Rider, in their Region I-4A opening round match. Pecos edged out Fabens last Saturday to advance to the regionals as District 2-4A runners-up, but last season with a more veteran squad were swept by Rider in the opening round of the tournament.

The cross country team has separate boys and girls divisions, with the boys facing the tougher challenge. Pecos failed to place any runner in the Top 50 a week ago at the El Paso Burges Invitational, while Fabens finished second in the team standings, beating out defending Class 4A champion El Paso High. The Wildcats, along with Clint and San Elizario, are expected to have the best shot at sending runners to regional, with the Top 10 finishers in the division advancing to next weekend's meet in Lubbock.

Coach Rudy Jurado was more hopeful on the girls' side of getting junior Jenny Alvarez to the regional meet. "I talked to one of the San Elizario girls," Jurado said after last Saturday's meet in El Paso. " She said if Jenny can run somewhere in the 14s, she should make it to regionals."

None of Pecos' girls competed in last Saturday's Burges Invitational. Last year, senior Liz Parent was the only Eagle runner to advance to the regional meet.

Stewart's death overshadows  tournament

AP Golf Writer
HOUSTON, Oct. 29, 1999 - A woman wore knickers. The plane pulled a banner. Black ribbons were everywhere. The memory of Payne Stewart was so pervasive in the first round of the Tour Championship that Davis Love III quit trying to avoid it.

When he tapped in for a bogey at the end of a sad, strange and sometimes shocking first round Thursday, Love found himself at 7-under 100 through 27 holes and in the lead by one stroke over Tiger Woods.

And he couldn't have cared less.

"The focus is not on us, not on the tournament and not on the scores," Love said. "It's on the loss of a lot of fathers and husbands."

Three days after Stewart and five others were killed in a freak plane crash, the top 29 players on the PGA Tour tried to get back to work on at Champions Golf Club.

And that's just what it was.

"It just didn't excite me," Love said. "The fun doesn't last very long. It was more like work."

That might not be the hard part.

The most gut-wrenching day of the $5 million Tour Championship could come today when no golf is played. Instead, most of the field planned to be in Orlando, Fla., for Stewart's memorial service.

"It's going to be tough to come back on Saturday," Tom Lehman said.

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