Lady Eagle volleyball places sixth in bracket

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One of the annual gauges for the Belen High volleyball team is the Zia Classic tournament in Roswell. While the Lady Eagles as they would have liked to have brought home more victories from the 2012 edition of the tourney, they showed some capability to compete with quality teams.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Belen’s Tori Morgan attempts to block a hit in a recent match. The Lady Eagles and Los Lunas are both set to compete in this weekend’s Tournament of Champions in Santa Fe.

Friday, the Eagles placed third in their pool, putting them in the eight-team consolation bracket. Belen then lost a tough four-game match against Deming.

Saturday, the Eagles swept Roswell High and were then swept themselves by Mesilla Valley in the bracket’s fifth-place match.

The Eagles are in action again this weekend, competing in the Tournament of Champions in Santa Fe on Friday and Saturday.

At Roswell, the Eagles (3-3) ended up in third place in Pool A, which included Goddard, Mesilla Valley and Lovington.

“We had some up-and-down play at the tournament, but some health issues caused us to have to make adjustments in our lineup,” said BHS coach Barbara Rodriguez. “Lorena Chavira and Maggie Baca did not travel due to health issues. Kaylyn Gomez and Victoria (Spragg) set for us.”

In the first round, played Friday evening, the Eagles faced Deming. Belen fought hard, and managed to pull out a win in the first game, 26-24. However, the Wildcats took the next three games, 25-17, 25-17, 25-16.

Saturday, Belen breezed past Roswell High, using accurate serving to win 25-6, 25-1, 25-14.

“We did have some great serving and game play against Roswell,” said Rodriguez.

For as well as the Roswell match went, the next one would go very much against the Belen hopes. Mesilla Valley, a Class 2A squad, beat 4A Belen by 25-10, 25-20 and 25-21 scores.

The Tournament of Champions is another annual gauge of progress for the Eagles.

Belen will compete Friday morning in pool play at the 16-team Santa Fe. tourney. The Eagles are in Pool C, alongside Pojoaque Valley, Capital and Santa Fe Prep.

Los Lunas is also competing in the tournament. The Lady Tigers are in Pool B with Laguna-Acoma, Española Valley and St. Michaels.

Rodriguez said she’s hoping her team, especially the first-year varsity players, can improve on key skills. Passing is an area where the Eagles still need improvement.

“We suffered again from passing errors,” Rodriguez said, regarding the Roswell tournament. “We will continue to work on our passing issues so that we can take advantage of our offense.”


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