PREP VOLLEYBALL NOTES: Texico, Estancia building rivalry

By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer

CLASS 2A HEAVYWEIGHTS Texico and Estancia could be starting quite a rivalry. After splitting the first four games, Estancia took the deciding game 15-9 Sept. 6 in Estancia.

The loss was Texico’s first of the season.

Texico coach Mike Littlejohn said his team learned a lot from the match.

“We got more out of that match than some of our wins,” Littlejohn said. “But of course you’d like to win too.”

Texico (4-2) hasn’t seen the last of Estancia (5-0) by a long shot. They will meet this weekend at the Mountain Top Tournament at Cloudcroft, and will host the Bears on Oct. 6.

THE LADY SPIKERS ARE getting a contribution from sophomore Faith Martin at libero.

For those less volleyball savvy, the libero is a defensive specialist who can float in and out of games without being counted against the team’s substitution limit.

“Libero literally means freedom,” Littlejohn said. “Colleges have had it for a while, but this is the first year that high schools have had it.”

The downside of playing libero is that you can’t serve or hit, only dig and pass.

“A lot of players don’t like playing it,” Littlejohn said. “But I asked Faith if she likes it, and she said she loves it. She is taking pride in playing defense. The position really compliments what she does well.

SETTER KELLY FISH is leading Melrose swimmingly. Lady Buffaloes coach Jason Lee said Fish, the team’s only senior, has been a stabilizing force for his young team.

“She is encouraging, she keeps everybody up,” Lee said. “She’s a vocal leader, she talks all the time.”

After starting the season 5-0, the Buffaloes dropped two matches in a row before beating Clovis Christian on Tuesday. Lee said a few plays were the difference between 8-0 and 6-2.

“There were one or two points that changed the match,” Lee said. “We just made key mistakes at critical times.”