Home Sports Local Sports Roswell sweeps Hobbs to become tourney champs

Roswell sweeps Hobbs to become tourney champs

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Roswell celebrates a three-set sweep over Hobbs Saturday night at the Coyote Den. Roswell is regular season district champs and district tournament champs. (David Rocha Photo)

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Let’s just face it, Roswell has Hobbs’ number this year. In every game of the three matches the Lady Coyotes played Saturday night at the Coyote Den, Roswell scored the first point of each game. Roswell was led by a group of players from Elisa Perez diving on the floor for balls and keeping them alive, to Jalen Baca setting up her teammates for kill shots. Roswell got some nice blocks at the net from Julia Espinoza. As the season has gone on the dynamic duo of Alex “Fire” Gonzalez — who came with the force on her kill shots — helped set Cheyenne “Ice” Martinez.

Roswell’s Cheyenne Martinez took over the third set late with two aces, a kill and she served four points to close out Hobbs at the Coyote Den Saturday night. (David Rocha Photo)

“I think our seniors stepping up has been a big part of our success,” Roswell coach Heather Baca said, “late in the season. Cheyenne (Martinez) has done that, she is serving the ball better and she had a huge kill at the end and I think that set the tone. She also served two aces and that’s what senior leadership is all about — responding at the right time and producing.”

Martinez played inspired and both looked like they were on the basketball court as they found each other at the net. Martinez saved her best performance of the night for the last six points of her match, coming up big with a kill to stop a Hobbs rally.

Martinez, who is left-handed, hit a kill shot with the right hand in the third set to bring Roswell back from a 21-18 deficit and close out the Lady Eagles’ 25-20 as Roswell won the district tournament championship by a score of 25-18, 25-21 and 25-20.

“Coming into tonight,” Baca said, “Hobbs has taken us five-sets every time we have played them. Stacy (Williams) has done a great job of coaching them. I think we put some pressure on them early and they (Hobbs) didn’t respond. I thought our girls played really well tonight.”

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In a five-day span, the Lady Coyotes defeated Hobbs for a championship as they defeated them in a one-game playoff in Carlsbad on Monday night to win the tiebreaker for the regular season district championship: 23-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-18 and 15-10.

“Roswell played tough,” Hobbs’ coach Stacy Williams said. “They kept us off-balanced, they came to win the district championship tonight. We’ve only beaten them once out of five games this season.”

Coach Baca didn’t feel like any of her girls played bad. She remembers on Monday when her team played Hobbs that her team missed 19 serves and on Saturday her team served a lot better, which was a key to the game.

“I felt like we passed the ball a lot better tonight,” Baca said. “Hobbs is a great serving team, they put a lot of pressure on our passing and always do. It was a credit to our kids — we handle their serving. Our kids are tenacious and they battle for every point. They can be down nine or 10 points and battle back, they turn the page pretty quick. That’s kind of the team we’ve become this year.”

Roswell will find out seeding today. On Thursday, Roswell will play in pool play first, and then be seeded. There will be three teams in every pool. For Roswell to get a bye, they will have to win their pool and then they will receive a bye. If Roswell does not receive a bye, they will play in the first round Thursday night. For the Lady Coyotes, they have their work cut out because if they lose once, the season is over with.

Roswell with reclassification has won the regular season district championship and the district tournament all in the same season. Baca has now taken her teams to the state playoffs in six out of the seven seasons she has been a head coach at Roswell.