The Dexter Lady Demons ran into a windmill Friday night as the Clovis Lady Wildcats won the first game in the gold bracket of the Clovis Invitational volleyball tournament in three straight games, 25-4, 25-16, 25-6.
Clovis senior Antiesha Brown served notice early to the Lady Demons they were playing out of their league as she bounced two kills off the faces of Dexter players in the opening exchanges.
The display put the Lady Demons on their heels the rest of the game. They were only able to make a minor recovery in the second game.
“My girls got a little scared after they (Clovis) came out hitting against us like that,” said first-year Dexter coach Andy Luikens. “It was tough, they’re a big school and we’re rebuilding.”
Clovis sophomore Paige Gardner led the team in kills with 9, while Brown had 8.
Senior Carissa Grummer had the big stat of the night from the serving line, though, with 16 aces.
“We felt good,” Gardner said of the win. “We just need to keep up the pace and work together.”
Gardner said the Lady Cats, seeing the mismatch, kept their focus by working on the “little stuff.”
That focus got a bit distracted in the second game as Dexter went on a four-point run. The run included a big kill by senior Anissa Ybarra to bring the Demons within 20-13.
Grummer finished off the game at the service line with four straight points.
“Tonight was a little bit of a mismatch,” admitted Clovis coach Darrel Ray. “We told the girls, ‘Let’s pass well, run our offense and hit hard.’ We did all that.”
Ray said he was pleased with his team’s efforts through pool play. He says today’s 12:30 p.m. semifinal matchup with St. Michaels will give him a better indication of where the Lady Cats stand.
“Right now, as young as we are, we played pretty well,” Ray said. “We’ve got a few things on our list to work on though.”
Clovis came through pool play with a perfect 6-0 mark, defeating Los Lunas 22-20, 21-18; Ysletta 21-18, 21-16 and Mescalero 21-8, 21-9.
Los Lunas lost to St. Michael’s in five games during Friday’s nightcap.