Lady Wolverines beat Dexter, gain state tourney berth

Texico’s Stephanie Bailey hits the ball past a Dexter defender during Friday’s Class 2A Region C tournament semifinal match at Texico. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

TEXICO — Now that the pressure is off, Stephanie Bailey hopes she and her Texico teammates will relax.

Bailey pounded out 19 kills and added five aces Friday night, but the Lady Wolverines struggled with feisty Dexter before subduing the Lady Demons 26-24, 25-19, 20-25, 25-20 in a Class 2A Region C semifinal match. With the win, Texico earned a berth in next week’s state volleyball meet in Albuquerque.

Texico (17-5) will face Eunice at 10 a.m. today for the regional championship, hoping to improve its seed at state. Eunice (13-8) outlasted Santa Rosa 25-23, 12-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-9 in Friday’s second semifinal.

The Lady Wolverines struggled in all but the second game, bailing out a nip-and-tuck first game when Lori Richardson broke a 24-24 tie with a kill and Bryn Mayfield followed with an ace. They then controlled the second game before losing their rhythm again.

“We made plays when we needed them,” said Bailey, a senior outside hitter. “That was the only thing that saved us.
“Tonight was really a tense (match). I think tomorrow will go better.”

Dexter (13-11) appeared ready to force a fifth game when senior Stephanie Silvas converted a Texico overpass into a point and junior Katie Geib followed with a kill for a 19-17 lead in Game 4.

But after a timeout, junior Erika Autrey got the ball back for Texico with a kill and the Lady Wolverines went on to close it out with eight of the final nine points — including four off Dexter errors.

“The girls battled; they could’ve folded,” Dexter coach Sally Knight said. “We made about five errors in a row when we were ahead there. We didn’t have our best match tonight, by any means.”

Senior outside hitter Lori Richardson added 14 kills for Texico, while Autrey had six kills and three blocks. Mayfield finished with 40 assists.

“We’re just fortunate,” Texico coach Mike Littlejohn said of the win. “They (Lady Demons) fought all night. We’re up 2-0 and they’re in the attack mode, and we’re in the get-it-over mode.

Littlejohn was relieved his team got it turned around in the fourth game.

“You don’t want to play that team in a fifth game,” he said. “I think, other than the second game, they got to 15 points each game before we did.”

Sophomore Megan Brown led Dexter with seven kills, while the left-handed Silvas compiled six kills and three aces.

Fort Sumner, Elida advance — In Class 1A Region C semifinals at San Jon, defending state champion Fort Sumner outlasted Grady 19-25, 25-15, 25-8, 17-25, 15-6 while Elida turned back Clovis Christian 25-14, 25-20, 18-25, 25-18.

The Vixens (16-6) and Elida (10-7), who both clinched state berths, meet for the regional title at 6 p.m. today.

Senior Lindsay Mansell had 14 kills, 12 digs, seven aces and three blocks to lead Fort Sumner to victory over the Lady Bronchos (14-7).

Freshman Jennifer Schaap had seven kills while senior Tasha Daale collected four kills, four blocks and six digs in a losing effort for Clovis Christian (17-7).

Prep summaries
Class 2A Region C
At Texico
Texico 3, Dexter 1
Dexter 24 19 25 20
Texico 26 25 20 25
Individual statistics
Kills —
Dexter, Megan Brown 7, Stephanie Silvas 6. Texico, Stephanie Bailey 19, Lori Richardson 14, Erika Autrey 6, Bryn Mayfield 5. Blocks — Dexter, Katie Geib 2, Ashlee Porte 1. Texico, Autrey 3, Richardson 1. Digs — Dexter, n/a. Texico, Bailey 10, Faith Martin 7, Richardson 5. Aces — Dexter, Krystal Banda 3, Silvas 3, Geib 1. Texico, Bailey 5, Bryn Mayfield 3, four tied with 1. Assists — Dexter, n/a. Texico, Mayfield 40. T — 1:27. Records — Dexter 13-11, Texico 17-5.

Class 1A Region A
At San Jon
Elida 3, Clovis Christian 1
Elida 25 25 18 25
Clovis Christian 14 20 25 18
Clovis Christian leaders
Kills —
Jennifer Schaap 7, Sam Barnett 4, Tasha Daale 4. Blocks — Barnett 4, Daale 4, Schaap 1. Digs — Cristen Wofford 8, Daale 6. Assists — Mollie Peterson 17. Records — Elida 10-7, Clovis Christian 17-7.

Fort Sumner 3, Grady 2
Grady 25 15 8 25 6
Fort Sumner 19 25 25 17 15
Fort Sumner leaders
Kills —
Lindsay Mansell 14, Julie Wood 11, Racheal Chavez 10, Carrie Cortese 7, Alex Owens 6. Blocks — Mansell 2. Digs — Mansell 12, Wood 10. Aces — Mansell 7, Wood 6, Owens 5, Rita Herrera 3. Assists — Herrera 36. Records — Grady 14-7, Fort Sumner 16-6.