No. 3 Texico vs. No. 1 Penasco
4 p.m. at Santa Ana Star Center
Records: Texico 26-4, Penasco 23-1
How they got here: Texico beat Tularosa 47-34; Eunice 52-27; Navajo Prep 42-30. Penasco beat Escalante 54-29; Capitan 68-31; McCurdy 53-41.
Lowdown on Texico: Texico already captured the state volleyball championship this season, and now eight of the Lady Wolverines have a chance of doubling their titles.
In his second season as head coach, Texico Keith Durham has brought the Lady Wolverines back to the finals after a five-year drought. Texico won three state titles from 2000-2002, with Eastern New Mexico University star Elizabeth Richards leading the way.
Durham has Victoria Richards, Elizabeth’s sister, on his squad and considers it a boon to the team’s success.
“Well I sure don’t mind it,” he said, “and the fact that she’s a freshman and I get to have her for three more years is terrific.”
Lowdown on Penasco: The Lady Panthers sport Andrea and Ellen Cruz, sisters who represent the team’s inside and outside game.
Andrea Cruz is a physical 5-foot-11 junior while the sophomore Ellen Cruz drives and dishes effectively, Durham said.
To combat the Cruz sisters, Durham said Texico must rebound well and continue its stellar defensive play.
— Greg Price, CNJ sports writer