Home Sports Local Sports Goddard just misses on state title

Goddard just misses on state title

Goddard’s Lacie Schooley goes high to return a shot against Los Lunas Saturday. Goddard would lose in five sets. (Steve Notz Photo)

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Goddard girls volleyball was up two games to one, they were feeling no pressure. In fact, they were so relaxed going into their fourth set against Los Lunas that as they waited for play to begin between intermission, Alyssa Hernandez and Hannah Roe were bobbing their heads and shaking their shoulders to the Earth Wind and Fire song, “September.”

Why wouldn’t they, after they had established domination at the net as Los Lunas had no answer for Sophia and Tori Price, to go along with Lacie Schooley and Allyah Valdez. Goddard was playing out of their minds making diving saves from Tatiana Villa and Sidney Bills, and received timely serving from Kiaya Island.

Somewhere between a timeout called by the Lady Tigers in the fourth set, when the game was tied at 10-10, the Lady Rockets could only match six more points the rest of the game to force a fifth set. In the fourth game, Goddard made errors that they haven’t made in this tournament run in the fourth and fifth sets. Fans could see the Lady Rockets not able to return balls they were chasing down three games earlier — now they were just out of reach. If the balls made it past Goddard’s superior front line, the ball seemed to have eyes just past the outstretched hands of a Lady Rocket.

Somehow, in the fourth game is where the wheels came off and they would end up losing 25-16. Los Lunas found a way to deal with their height at the net and got around Sophia and Tori Price. Goddard Coach Dewayne Roberts — who was in black dress slacks, black shirt and a purple tie with black shoes — would call three timeouts in the game as he furiously talked to his team, encouraging them, but it seemed momentum had moved to the Tigers’ side. It was enough to send the Lady Rockets home without the Blue Trophy as they lost to Los Lunas: 25-16, 13-25, 25-12, 16-25 and 15-13.

“It is not the way we wanted our season to end,” Roberts said. “It doesn’t take away from what we did this year. The game was — we just made too many mistakes at inopportune times and that’s what happened.”

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In the fifth game of the set, Roberts stuck with his normal rotation, as both Prices were on the bench when the game counted most. In that game, a questionable call on the second point of the match was called a do-over, which broke Goddard’s roll. The officials said that someone was in the net.

“I have the utmost confidence in all my girls,” Roberts said. “That’s the rotation that has gotten us here and we stuck with it. I saw no reason to change.”

The Tigers scored the point and made for a back-and-forth match until Schooley served to give them an 11-10 lead. It went back and forth until the Lady Rockets took the lead on a Tori Price kill to make the score 13-12 — it would be the last point of the season for the Lady Rockets.“I told our team,” Roberts said, “I want them to remember this feeling and how it tastes in their mouths because we don’t want to feel this way next year. I told the seniors thank you, even though I only got to coach you one year, you guys have been Goddard volleyball the last four years and I thank you for all of the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve given this program.”

Roberts stressed that Goddard getting to state was always and will always be the goal of the program as long, as he’s the coach. He expects to be back soon. Roberts’ confidence in his team never wavered once the tournament started. Roberts saw that his team was picking up his system and they were ready to play.

Looking ahead to next year, Goddard has Lacie Schooley, Sophia Price, Sidney Bills, and Kiaya Island, along with some junior varsity players.

“We have to get back to work,” Roberts said.