By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Lady Rattlers beat the Lady Longhorns of Logan in five sets Saturday to win their volleyball tournament at the Snake Pit.
“It is an amazing feeling, to win this tournament, our tournament,” said Kaycee Lease, who was named tournament MVP.
Lease said she never doubted the team’s ability during the championship game against Logan. She said the team worked together to overcome its struggles.
In the championship game, the Lady Rattlers won the first set but lost the next two before rebounding for the 3-2 win.
As the Lady Rattlers prepared for the fourth set, Lease, Kayla Cherry and Raynee Lopez urged the team to not be discouraged.
“We need to focus and stop making mistakes,” Lease said.
The Lady Rattlers jumped out to an early lead and won the fourth set 25-15.
“There was still a lot of volleyball to play and we were not going to give up,” said Lady Rattler Alyssa Martinez.
The final set is played to 15 points, the winner has to win by two points.
The Lady Rattlers had errors late in the final set but held on to beat the Lady Longhorns, 16-14.
“These girls played amazing, they never gave up, I could not be prouder of them,” said Tucumcari coach Dana Benavidez.
Benavidez said the girls gained confidence after their 3-1 semifinals win against the 1 seed Santa Fe Waldorf Lady Timberwolves.
Martinez said the Lady Timberwolves outside hitter Rose Moon has a strong kill that was hard to defend against. She said in pool play, Moon’s kills were intimidating, but the team knew it had to “get in the line of fire” to limit her success.
“We knew we were in for a challenge after watching the semifinals match between Tucumcari and Santa Fe,” said Robert Young, Logan’s head coach.
Young said the Lady Longhorns showed a lot of improvement throughout the tournament. He said the tournament gave the girls a chance to see and learn from many different teams.
Young said the Lady Longhorns finished third the previous week in their own tournament. He said the second-place finish at the Rattler tournament shows they continue to improve with each match.
Benavidez said the tournament will be a great boost for the Lady Rattlers teams as they continue their season.
She said the Lady Rattlers JV team finished seventh in the tournament
The San Lady Coyotes placed eighth in the tournament.