The Los Lunas High School volleyball team’s victory over Del Norte on Saturday lengthened the Lady Tigers’ winning streak to eight straight to start the season.
Los Lunas won the best-of-five-games match played at Del Norte, 15-7, 15-9, 15-2.
Coach Tara Trujillo is pleased with her team’s performance so far, but she is quick to acknowledge that there is still more to accomplish and her team has some more hurdles to get over. One of those hurdles may come this weekend when the Tigers travel to Santa Fe for the Tournament of Champions. Los Lunas will be in the same pool as Pojoaque, Bloomfield and Rio Rancho.
The Tigers have already defeated several of the teams playing at this weekend’s tournament (Santa Fe, Capital, Belen), and Trujillo expects the final showdown to be between the Tigers and the Rams.
Rio Rancho was runner-up at state last year, and Trujillo expects the Rams to field a strong squad again this season. “Rio Rancho is going to be tough, but that’s good,” said Trujillo. “I want to play somebody tough.”
Junior Keri Hall, who has managed 30 kills for the Tigers over the course of seven games, is confident about the upcoming tournament. “I expect us to do good,” she said.
Coach Trujillo is especially eager to face a high-quality foe — such as Rio Rancho — this weekend because it will give her a better indication of how good the Tigers really are. The schools Los Lunas has faced so far are not as strong as the competition it will face when the district season rolls around.
“Overall, the pre-district schedule has been fairly competitive,” said Trujillo, who points to the Tigers’ win over Sandia in five games as evidence that her girls can be successful against a strong opponent. But she admitted that not every team they’ve played has been as solid. “We’ve had a couple of weak ones,” she said, referring to teams, such as Rio Grande, that the Tigers conquered in three straight games.
But Trujillo went on to say, “We’re playing at a much higher level than we have been.”
At 8-0, the 2002 Tiger volleyball team seems destined to improve upon the team’s 2001 record of 9-14.
“We want it more than we did last year,” said Hall.
Following the Santa Fe tournament, the Lady Tigers begin district play when they host Alamogordo next Tuesday.
Lady Eagles —
The Belen High School volleyball team was hoping to gain another win Tuesday when they hosted the Gallup Bengals (no score was available at News-Bulletin press time).
“We’re coming off a pretty good win against Rio Grande,” said head coach Barbara Rodriguez, whose Lady Eagles won the best-of-five-games match in three games. “We’re moving a lot better, and our offense is looking better.”
Moving better with setter Navora Cordova recovered from a thigh injury that forced her to leave Belen’s Sept. 5 match against Los Lunas. “She’s back full force now,” Rodriguez said, “and we have Elisa Wader, who is going to be able to play with us now.”
Wader, who transferred back to Belen from Los Lunas this semester, had been sidelined while awaiting eligibility approval from the New Mexico Activities Association.
Another welcome addition to the team is freshman Kietta Torres, who was called up from the junior varsity to help out at the net. “She’s doing a real good job blocking for us,” the coach said.
The Eagles will also participate in the Tournament of Champions this weekend in Santa Fe.