By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Lady Longhorns beat the visiting Tucumcari Lady Rattlers volleyball team in three sets Thursday night at Logan.
The Lady Rattlers, 2-4, played closest in the final set, although service errors gave the Lady Longhorns the lead they needed to win in three.
“We have to focus on making a safe serve,” said Lady Rattler Alyssa Martinez.
Martinez said the team needs to focus on not giving away those points that puts them behind and forces them to try and catch up.
Lady Rattlers Kayla Cherry, Jessyka Cooksey, Melissa Gardea and Raynne Lopez defended well against the Lady Longhorns’ hitters. The Lady Rattler defenders often double blocked, making it difficult for Kippi Webb, Kaylee Foote, Brooke Rachor and McKenna Stone to find an opening for a kill shot for the Lady Longhorns.
“We’ve got to get the passes to the setter to give our hitters a better chance to score,” Rachor said.
Rachor said another problem the Lady Longhorns need to overcome is playing to close to the net. She said the Lady Rattlers several times were able to tip the ball behind the defenders for a score.
“We have to be moving our feet to defend those tips,” Foote said.
Foote said the defense needs to stay ready to cover the open spots and prevent a team from scoring so easily.
The Lady Rattlers and the Lady Longhorns had several long series of volleys, but the not transitioning and being out of position led to bad passes from the back. This resulted in the Lady Rattlers struggling to get the ball over the net in three touches as opposed to setting the ball up for a kill.
“We have to do a better job of passing to set up out offense,” said Kaycee Lease, Lady Rattler libero (defensive specialist).
Lease said the team scrambled to get the ball over to Logan who would make the passes and catch them out of position with the return.
The Lady Rattlers have five days to work out the kinks before traveling to East Mountain on Tuesday.
However, the Lady Longhorns have to make corrections on the fly as they will be competing Saturday in the Lady Vixens tournament in Fort Sumner.
“We need to work on playing our game, setting up our offense for success,” Rachor said. “When we are playing our game, we are hard to stop.”
Rachor said the team is looking forward to the tough competition – especially Melrose — at the tournament.