CARRIZOZO – To start Carrizozo’s volleyball match against Lincoln County rival Hondo, Sept. 27, the Lady Grizzlies lost the first game 25-20.
They won the next three to take the match, but after a 25-9 shellacking of the Lady Eagles in game two, it wasn’t easy.
In short, it was a typical Carrizozo volleyball match.
“We’re trying. We’re doing a lot better than what we did in the beginning of the year,” said Carrizozo coach Whitney Whittaker. “It’s just a slow start each time. Once we get the momentum, we’ll be OK.”
Hondo (7-5) looked ready to earn the victory, even if it would be close, after battling back and forth with the Lady Grizzlies for the opening win.
But then Carrizozo (5-7) got things in gear to win game two, 24-9. Kristie Gallacher was a force beyond the service line, contributing eight straight service points and two aces to bring her team to match point.
Following a net ball by the Lady Eagles, Carrizozo won handily.
Gallacher also had a seven-point service run in the forth game to extend her team’s lead from six to 12 points.
“She has a great arm, so I like to utilize her not just as a setter but also to hit the ball,” Whittaker said of Gallacher’s scoring. “And she’s a heck of a server, so she’s an all-around player.”
The Lady Grizzlies have relied heavily on a number of young players to fill out the roster, including three eighth graders – Suntana Zamora, Kaitlyn Guevara and Johana Vega – as starters.
Vega – younger sister of Carrizozo alumni Erica Vega – said it can be a lot of pressure for a young player with that much responsibility, but she’s enjoying it.
“It’s fun and exciting,” Vega said. “I know my team has my back.”
Tuesday’s match served as a predecessor to district competition – almost.
Hondo jumps into District 3-1A on Oct. 11 – almost two weeks away – with a home contest against Lake Arthur.
Carrizozo, meanwhile, takes on Hagerman this Thursday and Corona on Oct. 4 – both at home – before welcoming Reserve to their home court for the start of District 2-1A.