MESCALERO – Chief volleyball coach Alice Velasquez figured she might have her girls in fairly good shape when they took on East Mountain in their season opener on Aug. 26.
It looks as though the Chiefs still have some work to do in light of their 25-18, 25-18, 25-22 loss.
“If we could meet this season later in the season, we’d be a lot more polished,” Velasquez said. “Right now, we have to work on passing. We did a good job, just not good enough.”
Mescalero (0-1) wasn’t terrible, the Chiefs just weren’t great enough in spurts to counter the bad streaks they had.
After winning the first two games, East Mountain (2-1) had a 14-10 lead in the third frame, but found that lead slip away as Mescalero put together a four point run to tie it at 14-all.
In fact, that’s pretty much how the entire third game went. The Chiefs would put together a run to make it close – or even take a lead – and then they’d give the Timberwolves the lead right back.
“We had surges where we were very good, then we surges where we were in the middle, we were OK,” Velasquez said. “And then we had spots that were very bad. It was lack of concentration, first game jitters, all these things combined.”
Brilliance did come for a bit in the form of Alyn Kirgan, whose cannon-like serves gave Mescalero a 4-0 run to tie it at 20-all.
“Bit (Kirgan) can come in and bang it, but then Paris (Davis) had a good run for six points today too,” Velasquez said. “You’ve also got a server like Fallon (Velasquez) with backspin that’s hard to hit, then Katelyn (Yuzos) is just pure speed.”
While all teams can expect to be rusty to start the season, coach Velasquez said the Chiefs don’t have a whole lot of time before facing some truly difficult tests like Dexter and the field at the Mountain Top Tournament in Cloudcroft.
“We have to have our act together by then,” Velasquez said. “These first three or four games are about us trying to find ourselves. Then we have to get going.”