A second place finish in the District 3-3A standings was in the cards for the Lady Warriors volleyball squad after a close 3-2 win against the Hot Springs Trojans at home. That was followed up with a 3-0 loss on the road against the Hatch Valley Bears over the weekend. Hatch finishes as the only undefeated team in the district.
The final game of the 2019 season in Socorro saw a packed gym. Fans from both sides came loaded with signs and balloons. A consistent three point lead had the Lady Warriors in control before precision serves saw the Trojans back in business at 20-20 and taking the lead before winning the first 25-21.
It was not looking good for the Lady Warriors as they went down 14-11 during a long back and forth in the second. Tough play, combined with three straight unforced Trojans errors, lead to a 25-21 set two win for the home team.
Missed opportunities in the third set, particularly by the bunch formation at the net not connecting by Socorro, made set three a sweat inducing 27-25 win. Hot Springs came back and won set four 25-23 to force a final set. After rallying the troops, Head Coach JB Mauldin was able to lead his team to a 15-11 final set win.
“Hot Springs is tough,” Mauldin said. “The first time we played them they had a bad showing and tonight they sure fought for every point. Luckily our girls stepped up to the challenge and played well. I saw a team in Socorro that is coming together more and more.”
This was junior team leader Syenna Morales’s first game back as she is coming off of a torn meniscus injury suffered early in the season.
“I couldn’t wait to get out there,” she said. “Not playing really sucked. Once I got released by my doctor I wanted to get back on the court and in the flow of the game. Being back out there I can tell our team is going to be really tough in the state championships no matter who we play.”
A big factor in the win was the aggressive play of junior Garee Apodaca at the net against the Hot Springs front line.
“Teamwork and clicking as a team is how we got the win,” she said. “I try to be as aggressive as I can after every serve just like my teammates. Now we’ll have to work on cleaning up mistakes before the tournament.”
The road trip to Hatch was not as advantageous for the Lady Warriors. After a disastrous nine point beat down in the first set Socorro did not go home quietly, losing by two and three respectively during the three set sweep.
“This team is on the right track,” Mauldin said. “We’re starting to clean up mistakes that we made earlier in the season. If we can keep our passes going and play team ball then we’ll be tough to beat.”
Socorro lands at 4-4 in district play, second in district, and 13-9 overall. The team is ranked eighth in the state with the Tularosa Wildcats ranked first at 19-2. The Warriors will compete at the 2019 state championships at the Santa Ana Star Center beginning on November 14.