Lady Tigers are 9-1 as district begins

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Needing momentum heading into district play, the Los Lunas High volleyball team seemed to get that with a pair of sweeps over Class 5A teams this week.

Jason W. Brooks-News-Bulletin photo: Los Lunas High freshman Kelsey Bell makes a dig in a recent match. The Lady Tigers won twice this week and are set to play their District 6-4A opener at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Belen.

The Lady Tigers swept Atrisco Heritage Academy at LLHS on Tuesday, 3-0, and did the same at Albuquerque High on Thursday.

This week’s wins left the Class 4A Tigers with a 9-1 record with District 6-4A play about to begin. Los Lunas plays at Belen at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

With Atrisco, the Tigers clearly had more height and looked more comfortable than their opponents. Los Lunas won 25-12, 25-13 and 25-22.

The Jaguars (1-6) have six seniors on their roster, but only one player is taller than 5-feet, 7-inches. The Tigers controlled the net and blazed through the first two games.

Los Lunas trailed 4-0 in game one before outscoring the Jaguars 25-8 the rest of the way. The Tigers used an 8-1 run early on to forge a 10-point lead.

In the latter half of the third game, with Los Lunas up 18-10, Newton emptied the bench, allowing her least experienced players to work out their jitters by giving them some court time. It was their game to win or lose, and at first, the younger rotation struggled.

Atrisco made some scrappy defensive plays, and, combined with some Tiger hitting errors, the Jaguars erased the 18-10 deficit and took a 20-19 lead.

The Tigers managed to control the net again and took a 23-21 lead. A bad pass gave Atrisco a point, but a Jaguar miscommunication and an Alyssa Vigil kill gave the Tigers the win.

At Albuquerque High on Thursday, the Tigers won the first two games by identical 25-11 scores, but had to again hang on in game three, winning 26-24.

“We have been working on coming out strong with energy; tonight we did that,” said LLHS coach Leah Newton after Thursday’s match. “The girls played well and it was a great team effort. Our back row made some great plays, and that really added excitement and energy to the game. The front row did a great job of blocking and executing our offense.”

The Tigers will be aiming for their third consecutive undefeated 6-4A campaign and district championship. They’re also looking to make a third consecutive state tournament appearance.


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