Lady Warriors net a victory in first match of the season

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During their scrimmage last Saturday against Tularosa, the Lady Warriors volleyball team embraced the type of offense they stressed all offseason: quickness. They won that scrimmage in five sets, and hoped to repeat that feat on Monday night against the East Mountain Timberwolves in the 2012 season opener.

Jonathan Miller/El Defensor Chieftain: Maudie, left, and Bryhanna Baca, right, attempt a block during Monday night’s match. Socorro won it’s 2012 opener in five sets.

The outcome was still in their favor, although the fashion in which they went about it may not have been ideal for head coach Joni Mauldin.

“Today, we just didn’t bring the offensive speed that I wanted,” she said.

Socorro won the match regardless, needing five sets to take out the Timberwolves, 22-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-18 and 16-14.

But the not so great news for Socorro is that they had more than 20 service errors, nearly 20 receiving errors and close to 20 attack errors.

The good news for them, however, is that they didn’t play their best match and were still good enough to pull out the victory.

Mauldin attributes some of those mental mistakes to a lack of communication, but it definitely wasn’t all bad for the Lady Warriors. Every time they did speed up their offense, Mauldin said they got points from it.

“When they started communicating, things started to click,” she said. “Those things are workable.”

In the first set, the Timberwolves simply went out and executed, taking leads of at least six points twice. Socorro closed the gap at 22-24, but couldn’t capitalize on some East Mountain mistakes and lost 25-21.

The Lady Warriors came out swinging in the second however, literally. Maudie Mauldin and Bryhanna Baca proved to be a formidable duo blocking at the net, while Ashley Pyke found some rhythm spiking off of the quick set. The pace of the game was where Socorro wanted it, and it showed up in the score.

The third set closely resembled the first, as the Lady Warriors weren’t outplayed so much as they played themselves right out of it, giving East Mountain a chance to close the match out in four.

Then almost on cue, they turned it right back up again. The fourth set outcome was never really in question, as Marissa Serate cranked up her serve and Socorro cruised to an 25-18 win.

Then things got tense.

In the fifth and deciding set, the Timberwolves built a three point lead at 11-8, just to see Socorro come back and tie it up. At 13-13, East Mountain poked one over the heads of the Socorro defense and it looked like they’d get a match point at 14-13, but a lift was called on the play and the match went on. The Lady Warriors reeled off three straight points to finish off the set and the match, winning their season opener and improving to 1-0.

As the expression goes, it wasn’t exactly pretty, but Socorro will take the win. The positive for them is that despite their self-inflicted wounds, when they play their game they become a legitimate scoring threat.

“It is a positive, because I know the potential of my girls, and I know that wasn’t their potential,” Mauldin said.

Usually the word potential translates to “things you haven’t done,” but the potential for this team to shore things up and make a district run is there. It had 14 aces, 25 solid digs, close to 40 successful kills and almost 30 assists, so there’s a lot to build on heading into next Tuesday’s match with Magdalena.

“It is a big game,” Mauldin said. “They’re always competitive. We have some time to work all three teams.”