Texico’s volleyball team is looking for a three-peat this weekend. Meantime, the Fort Sumner Vixens have a streak of their own they’d like to keep intact.
The two schools will represent the area in small-school state competition, which begins with pool play today and continues with bracket play starting Thursday at the University of New Mexico’s Johnson Center in Albuquerque.
Texico has won the last two titles in Class 2A, but the Lady Wolverines (20-2) are ranked third going in. Their losses were to top-ranked Mesilla Valley, in three close games in a tournament at Cloudcroft, and at No. 2 Estancia in five games.
“We’ve had a bulls-eye on our back when we’ve played this year,” first-year Texico coach Kristen Scanlan said. “The first time we saw that was at Cloudcroft.”
Scanlan said her team isn’t putting much stock in a three-peat.
“I don’t know that we’ve really stressed that a lot,” she said. “We’ve already reached three of our goals — to win (District 6-2A), to win the district tournament and win the first round of state.
“Our fourth goal is to play the best we can at state. If we do that, then we have a good chance.”
Three players have had big roles in the previous two titles — senior outside hitter Jaryse Harris, junior outside hitter Victoria Richards and junior middle hitter Katlin Luscombe. Scanlan said the Lady Wolverines are deeper than the previous two squads.
In pool play, Texico faces Estancia (18-4), along with Mora and Rehoboth.
Fort Sumner took the Class 1A title in 2006, then lost in the semifinals last year. Coach Lisa McMath, though, has led the Vixens to a state crown in each presidential year since 1996.
Fort Sumner (19-1), ranked No. 1 in 1A, has an 18-match winning streak dating to a quarterfinal loss in the Clovis Invitational in early September to Denver City, Texas. Since then the Vixens have lost only two games.
They face one of the better teams in 1A right off the bat in pool play, though, in defending champion Animas. Others in Fort Sumner’s pool are Roy and Carrizozo.
“We’re definitely going to have to be ready to play right away,” McMath said. “We’ve been playing consistently. The challenge is going to be what we’re going to do if we lose a game.”
In addition to their four titles since 1996, the Vixens have finished second twice and third once at state.
“I think there are quite a few good teams,” McMath said. “Animas has most of their girls back, and Tatum always has a strong showing.”
Three seniors — middle blocker Bree Lucero, outside hitter Racheal Chavez and setter Rita Herrera — were starters as sophomores on the 2006 championship squad.