The Valencia Lady Jaguars (3-6) were unable to recover after losing an early first set lead and fell in straight sets to the Manzano Monarchs (4-1) on Tuesday, 25-23, 25-7, 25-18.

Valencia jumped ahead early in set one, taking a 7-1 lead before forcing a Manzano timeout.

Mackenize Keys was a workhorse for VHS early with three winners before the timeout. From there, however, the Monarchs turned their play around in a dramatic fashion.

MHS steadily climbed back into the game and was able to force a timeout from the Lady Jaguars after tying the game at 20-20.

Since the timeout, MHS had outscored the hosts 19-13. Recovering from the blown lead wasn’t in the cards, however, as Manzano finished off the set 25-23 after another VHS timeout at 23-22.

In the second set, Valencia seemed rattled and never was able to find its footing to answer back.

Zamora was forced to use a timeout with his team down 6-1 and another shortly after as the lead had increased to 11-1. That wasn’t enough to slow down the Monarchs as they cruised to a fairly routine 25-7 win with all of the momentum firmly behind them.

The final set was far more competitive, as VHS hung right with the Monarchs and seemed to have regained some of their earlier form.

MHS made a number of unforced errors early on that gifted the Lady Jaguars some points, and more importantly, seemed to give them their confidence back.

The two sides were tied at 10 when Manzano started to pull away, forcing a Valencia timeout at 13-10 in an attempt to stem the tide, but it wasn’t enough.

Another Valencia timeout down 18-11 followed some unforced errors from the Lady Jaguars, but only two more points would go their way as they fell in the final set 25-13.

Next up for Valencia, Del Norte will come to town on Thursday, with the varsity match slated to start at 6:30 p.m before three straight games on the road.

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Cameron Goeldner grew up in Boulder, Colo., and attended the University of New Mexico. He covers everything sports for all Valencia County schools.