Lady Mountaineers meet goal

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The Lady Mountaineers ended their volleyball season with a dismal 5-14 record. But coach John Payne points out that it was still a successful year for the Lady Mountaineers.

Susann Mikkelson/ El Defensor Chieftain: The Lady Mountaineers at the Magdalena Invitational Tournament in September are, back row, left to right: Rachel Cushman, No. 1; Katherin McCarty, No. 14; Kory Nicolds, No. 13; Justine Romero, No. 16; and Rachel Nicolds, No. 15. Front row, left to right, are Ayasha Munoz, No. 8; Shania Livingston, No. 12; Bryanda Delgato, No. 3; and Alexis DeLaO, No. 4. Not pictured but on the Lady Mountaineers roster are Destri Woods, Cami Gantenbein and Emily Nicolds.

“We played a really tough schedule this year,” Payne said. “About half of the schools we played became state contenders.”

Reserve’s schedule included playing Animas and Carrizozo twice, and both teams went to the state championship, as well as Corona and Lordsburg.

“Some of these schools are much larger than we are,” Payne said. “We have 38 students in our high school, and about 15 of them came out for volleyball.”

The coach indicated they didn’t even have any “extra kids” to take stats for the team.

Reserve conquered one of their big goals of the season — to beat the Quemado Eagles. Payne said the Lady Mountaineers have not beat their neighboring rivals more than about once in the last 15 years. This year, they beat the Eagles twice, and lost to them twice in regular season play. They lost to them in district championship rounds.

“They (Quemado) should have been at state,” Payne said. “They have a really great coach.”

Payne said it was a game of numbers that kept Quemado out of the state playoffs, and he respects the coach and her team greatly. Still, he was pleased that his girls beat them.

The coach said that the Lady Mountaineers are a developing team, and he sees good things for them next year.

“We have four tough hitters and two young, upcoming setters,” the coach said. “We hope to attend a good camp this summer.”

The message there may be: “Look out Quemado!”