Capitan earns third at the Classic

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Kara Vallance, center, leads her team in cheering a point against Tatum, Sept. 23, during the third place match of the Capitan Classic.

CAPITAN – In pool play at this year’s Capitan Classic, the Tiger volleyball team beat Elida – that juggernaut of volleyball dominance – twice.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Capitan’s Skye Wootten serves late in her team’s match against Tatum, Sept. 23, playing for third place at the Capitan Classic.

When the teams faced off in the semifinals of bracket play, it was a different story, with the Elida Tigers beating the Capitan Tigers in three games, 25-17, 25-20, 25-20.

“When we played Elida in pool play, it was the best the Capitan girls have played all year,” said Capitan coach Pam Allen of the Elida team that eventually beat Fort Sumner for the tournament championship. “It was not surprising to me that Elida came in this morning in a whole different frame of mind.

“I kept thinking if we could get ahead of them, maybe things would start to go our way,” she added. “Elida is to be commended. They’ve had a stellar program for years and years.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua Capitan’s Dakota Hazen, right, smacks the ball over the net, and over an attempted block by Tatum’s Kheyenne Huysman, during the teams’ Sept. 23 match for third place in the Capitan Classic.

Capitan later rebounded to defeat Tatum in three, 25-21, 25-17, 25-16, to take third place.

In that final match, the Tigers (7-2) weren’t exactly world-beaters, but they had enough in the tank to get things done.

One Tiger that had a particularly good day was junior Kara Vallance, especially in the final game against the Coyotes.

“We worked well as a team in pool play (against Elida) and worked well as a team when we played them this morning,” Vallance said. “The team helps me get up and feel more confident about myself.”

“Kara’s getting a little better all the time, and she seems to be loving her volleyball experience,” Allen said. “That’s really cool, to see a kid who’s having a great time and improving her game as well.”

This has been a very good two weeks for Capitan, which was in the championship match of the Mountaintop Tournament in Cloudcroft a week before. The Tigers fell to Eunice in that one.

“We still need to work on our strength some more, and need to keep doing what we’re doing in practice,” Allen said. “It seems to be working for us.”

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