Two crosstown rivals. Two new head coaches. Two new teams.
The Socorro Lady Warriors and Magdalena Lady Steers both met for their first Volleyball matches of the season. A hard fought game on both sides of the net, Socorro came away with the win by never giving up a set, finishing 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 during the August 22 evening matchup.
“It felt good for us to get out there,” Warriors Head Coach JB Mauldin said. “We were a little bit nervous at first then found a rhythm. In that second set we got down a little bit which was partially to blame because of bad rotation management. But we got out of it so I was really happy with the way they handled it.”
Down early, the Lady Warriors seemed to wake up after a time out and went on an offensive onslaught with tip plays at the net by setter Marysa Ocampo, strong serves and rebounds by Syenna Morales, and precision strikes from Jayden Van Winkle who had a game high 83.3 kill percentage and .667 hit percentage.
“I feel confident after the win,” Ocampo said. “It was good competition but they’re missing a lot of their past seniors. We were able to stay low and be quick during our returns as a team out here tonight. Now we just have to get ready mentally for the next game and improve on our serving in particular.”
“I was a bit anxious going into the game,” Morales added. “But I was pretty sure that we were going to do well with all of the hard work we put in this summer. It was exciting to get out here and play finally. Our new coach has really helped us improve our game. People should expect us to do even better than last year.”
After taking the first set the Lady Warriors went up quickly 9-4 in the second and were feeling themselves, using their signature “Woosh” chant on the court. Magdalena refused to stop pushing and made a bit of a comeback, even taking the lead after a lightning fast five points in a row stretch. Steers senior Samantha Scarborough was battling every rebound at the net. It was not enough as the Warriors rallied and went home with the victory.
Sarah Sue Olney is starting her first season as the Magdalena head coach, taking over for Bryan Baca who spent seven season as the Lady Steers leader. Olney was previously an assistant for both basketball and volleyball throughout the years before moving to Albuquerque. Her announcement as coach came late this summer after moving back to Magdalena to be with her family.
“I got thrown into this roll in a sense,” she said. “But after thinking about it there was no reason why I wouldn’t want to coach this team so here I am. The lack of summer competition along with the transition hurt us a bit tonight. There’s some rust no doubt. But I’m encouraged seeing how much the girls are moving their feet. I’m a big stickler of working hard and not quitting and I think we showed that on the court. If we can eliminate the mistakes and up our demeanor when we get into a hole then we have a shot against all of the other teams.”
Magdalena will next be on the road for a two day tournament in Belen on August 30 and 31 before hosting its tournament on September 6 and 7.
After falling to Robertson at home 3-1 against Robertson Socorro is on the road for a rematch during the Magdalena Tournament followed by a trip to Bernalillo and Bosque. The Lady Warriors return home September 17 for an evening showdown against the Deming Wildcats.