Clovis seniors Tara Ray, left, and Alissa McDowell attempt to block a Hobbs shot during a District 4-5A contest Tuesday night at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. Photo by Eric Kluth
Clovis dominated Hobbs the first time the teams met in District 4-5A play — and the Lady Eagles were are full strength then.
With four seniors missing for disciplinary reasons — two starters and two key subs — Hobbs was no match for the Lady Wildcats Tuesday night at Rock Staubus Gym as Clovis cruised to a 25-11, 25-20, 25-17 victory in contest that lasted just 55 minutes.
Senior outside hitter Jessica Hohn had 12 kills and 12 digs for the Lady Cats (14-3, 4-2 district), who were coming off a disappointing four-game loss to district leader Eldorado Saturday on the road.
“It was really hard for to get going because they were missing players and it seemed like they were slow-moving,” CHS senior setter Tara Ray said. “We let down a little in the second game like we always do, but we came back and followed through like we’re supposed to.”
The Lady Cats struggled early in the first game, allowing Hobbs (5-12, 0-6) to pull to 8-7 on a net violation. But with senior Sara Salguero on the service line, they quickly pulled away, running off nine points to take control.
Clovis subbed regularly throughout the second game and, after building a 19-9 lead, allowed the Lady Eagles to close to 23-20 on an ace by Nikki Mahan before closing it out. Senior Alissa McDowell finished it by converting a quick-set from Ray for one of her seven kills.
Hobbs stayed relatively close for much of the third game, but an ace by Ray opened a 23-16 lead. After a service error, the Lady Cats got the final points on kills by Hohn and senior reserve Vanessa Vaca.
“This is a relatively young team, and we were just completely overpowered,” Hobbs coach Brenda Wilson said of her squad. “Clovis is an awesome team.
“We didn’t execute very well. Our game plan was to serve tough and throw their passing game off, but that didn’t work out too well for us.”
Senior middle hitter Monique Walker finished with nine kills and had two of Clovis’ four blocks. The Lady Cats converted eight aces, including three each by McDowell and Salguero.
Ray, who collected 20 assists, said the team is looking forward to the possibility of another shot at Eldorado in the district tournament finals, albeit in Albuquerque.
“We’re ready and waiting for them,” she said. “We’re looking forward to playing them again, and I still think we can beat them.”
Clovis played without sophomore outside hitter Aimee Hilburn, who sprained an ankle during a morning workout. Lady Cats coach Darrel Ray said Hilburn will miss Thursday’s district match at Carlsbad, and likely won’t returning to practice on Monday.