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Lady Rockets barely advance

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Goddard High School sophomore Sophia Price goes for the score against Lovington Tuesday at Ground Zero. (Steve Notz Photo)

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No one could blame the Lady Rockets volleyball team if they seemed overconfident coming into their first-round district playoff game. Just five days earlier Goddard soundly defeated Lovington at their place in three sets.

On Tuesday night at Ground Zero, the Lady Rockets had to dig, dive and block for their district playoff lives, as the Lady Wildcats managed to force the match to five sets before losing to Goddard: 25-17, 25-12, 29-31, 17-25, 15-6, to win and advance to a showdown with crosstown rival, Roswell on Thursday.

“We came out pretty well,” Goddard coach Kristi Hager said. “Then we relaxed. We are going to chalk that up to a warmup game and hopefully we get all of that out of our system heading into Thursday.”

The Lady Rockets came out on fire and continue their shellacking of the Wildcats as if they have never stopped beating them from their game a week ago. Goddard stormed out to win, 25-17, 25-12, in consecutive sets, and looked to be flying toward an easy three set victory as they led 6-0, and then 11-4.

A funny thing happened to Lovington in the middle of the third set; they received a visit from Uncle Momentum as they put on a furious rally to tie the game at 27-27, before taking command to win, 31-29, and their first game of the match.

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‘We weren’t executing the way we needed to,” Hager said. “We are going to chalk this up and take the win for what it is, and for getting this out of our system before we play the rest of district and hopefully state.”

After that match started, there was a feeling that things had changed and in the fourth set the turning point was when The Lady Rockets surrender the lead at 12-12, and would only score five more points the rest of the game losing 17-25.

While Uncle Mo looked like he was going to stay a while, The Lady Rockets finally regrouped during the break and charged to a, 7-2, lead in the fifth set before closing out Lovington with a, 15-6 victory.

Seniors Camarynn Villalpando, Haley Willis and Allie French made statements on their kill shots. With each attacking the net with such force that seemed to break the Wildcats players down throughout the matches.

Freshman Lacie Schooley served the last five points to win the match in the fifth set. In a team effort the Lady Rockets stayed together as a team and continued to pick each other up throughout the matches.

“We are excited to be playing Roswell on Thursday,” Hager said. “Anytime we play them, it’s a fun match. The girls have fun playing them. The crowd is fun, so we are looking forward to playing in their gym. Hopefully, we can follow that up with a win.”

Roswell has defeated Goddard this season twice winning on September 9, at the Zia Classic: 25-22,25-17, 25-16.

Roswell won in straight games over Goddard on October 10, at Roswell’s home court: 25-20, 25-17, 26-24.

Goddard beat Roswell in straight sets at Goddard on October 19: 25-20, 25-20, 26-24.

Goddard will play at Roswell at 6 p.m. on Thursday, with the winner to play Artesia on Saturday.

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