Tearney O’Connor of Dora (right) leaps to try to block a kill attempt from Melrose’s Alisha Wagley during the second game of Tuesday’s match at Guy Luscombe Gym in Dora. (Freedom Newspapers: Kevin Wilson)
By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers
DORA — Melrose wanted to be less afraid to make mistakes. Dora made enough errors on its own to ensure that Melrose’s errors didn’t matter.
The visiting Lady Buffs were far from perfect, but jumped out to big leads and rode them to an easy 25-16, 25-15, 25-16 win Tuesday night at Dora.
The match pitted two teams separated by one position in the upcoming District 3-1A tournament — Melrose in fourth and Dora in fifth — but the evening played out like a mismatch as Melrose (11-8, 3-4) jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the first game and an 11-4 advantage in the second.
“We just didn’t get anything going tonight,” Dora coach Myra Skinner said after the match. “We never got off on the right foot and we made a lot of unforced errors.”
Melrose made plenty of errors as well, but got a balanced effort from the offensive front line of Toni Burdine, Zanessa Dodd and Tuniel Roberts and sent Dora to its seventh loss in as many district matches.
The Lady Buffs lost in the same manner against Floyd Thursday by falling into early deficits, and Melrose coach Jason Lee thought the early starts helped calm the players down.
“If you can get momentum early and the confidence grows,” Lee said, “you don’t dwell on your mistakes as much.”
Both teams had small mistakes on passes and serves, but Melrose was never seriously threatened and all but shut the door on Dora with a 7-1 run in the third game to take an 18-10 lead.
Each team still has one match left in district play. Dora visits Elida Thursday, while Melrose faces Fort Sumner.