It wasn't pretty, but the Clovis Lady Wildcats are in the semifinals of their invitational tournament.
Clovis struggled with District 4-5A rival Hobbs before pulling out a 25-27, 25-18, ,22-25, 25-21, 16-14 win over the Lady Eagles on Friday night at Rock Staubus Gym.
CMI photo: Tony Bullocks
Clovis senior Kristen Bradley sets for junior Shea Mahon in a pool play match against Espanola
Valley. Clovis swept the two-game set.
The Lady Cats (1-1) face three-time Class 1A champion Tatum in a 9 a.m. semifinal match today. They will either play for third place at 5:30 p.m. or the championship at 7:30 p.m. today, against either Albuquerque Academy or Amarillo Palo Duro, who meet at 10:30 a.m.
Junior middle blocker Shea Mahon had 12 kills and five blocks and junior outside hitter Sydney Romero added 12 kills and four blocks for Clovis, while junior outside hitter Kyleigh Guthals chipped in six kills and 10 digs. Still, the Lady Cats had to overcome a seven-point deficit in Game 4 and got all they could handle from the Lady Eagles.
"I really felt that's the best I've seen Hobbs play in a few years," CHS coach Gabe Apodaca said. "They dug up every ball we hit, it seemed like, and after a while frustration set in for us.
"At one point, we had five hitting errors in a row."
After Hobbs won a seesaw first set, the Lady Cats dominated the second to pull even. Hobbs then appeared to be in control before the Lady Cats rallied to bail out the fourth game.
Romero ended a tight fifth set with a kill.
"We just started eliminating errors," Apodaca said. "We had hitters start to put the ball in play, and we started to put pressure on Hobbs."
Facing Tatum figures to be no easy task for the Lady Cats. The teams split during pool play and the Lady Coyotes beat out Clovis to earn the top seed from the pool.
"We've got our work cut out for us," Apodaca said.