Socorro no match for Valencia volleyball

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There were a couple of momentum breakers in Tuesday's volleyball tussle between host Valencia and Socorro.

Neither went the Warriors way as Valencia only trailed in the first game on the way to a straight set win, 25-18, 25-11 and 25-10.

Valencia improved to 6-2 prior to a 2 p.m. Saturday match at West Mesa. Socorro fell to 7-6 and is off until an Oct. 2 contest hosting Cobre.

In Tuesday's rematch, Socorro fell victim to aggressive net play that turned the tide in the opening game. It was the only contest of the three that was close.

The teams traded points early as Socorro posted a 7-6 lead. It would be their last advantage of the night.

Brenda Baeza got a kill to tie the contest 8-all. The Jags went ahead on Baeza's roll shot over the Warrior front line to secure the lead for good.

It was a Baeza kill that settled the best point of the night, as Socorro had two athletic digs to save the volley. Valencia took a 17-10 lead on the big junior captain's kill. Momentum was now in the Jag's court.

Valencia went out to a 6-0 lead in game two, winning easily 25-11.

In the final set, Socorro only trailed 3-1 when the net broke, causing about a 20-minute delay while a new net was put in place. The time off didn't help the Warriors as Valencia used three kills from Aizlinn Guiterrez to move to a 12-3 lead.

Socorro rallied to close to 14-6 on a roll shot over the blocks of Peyton Linthicum and Alexis Montaño. But the Jaguars controlled the rest of the set, winning 25-10 on a Warrior serve that went beyond the end line as the final point.

Valencia coach Vanessa Chavez noted after the contest that her club had improved since beating Socorro in straight sets on Sept. 18.

"I would say that our offense is a little faster. Our blocking has improved," said Chavez.

Valencia will open their District 6-4A schedule at Gallup on Oct. 2. But West Mesa, an Albuquerque Class 5A program that is 1-4 after falling to Santa Teresa on Saturday, is up before the district slate gets underway.

"They are a competitive program," said Chavez of the Mustangs.


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.