Sometimes after a loss, Roswell volleyball coach Heather Baca makes it seem like the sky is falling. At one point, the Lady Coyotes were 2-3 and all Baca talked about is “we have to get better.” Nevermind that she was rebuilding after losing 10 seniors last season on a team that won the district.
On Tuesday night, Baca and her Roswell volleyball team took another step in going back-to-back in district titles as they beat Hobbs: 25-23,19-25, 25-15, 25-20, at the Coyote Den.
“We’re trying to get better every game,” Baca said. “I have some seniors that stepped up and played well tonight. We served a lot tougher and I think that put some pressure on Hobbs. Hobbs is a great serving team, they serve very tough.”
Rael Gonzales served eight aces for Roswell, Makenzie Tarin served effective as well. The Lady Coyotes’ Ashley Sanchez led the team in kills with eight, and Jalen Baca had a good game passing the ball.
Baca had to do a lot of experimentation with different lineups and she had to play players in different positions to figure out her players’ strength but with that settled, the team has settled into a pattern of substitution and each player knows their role.
“I was playing a lot of kids early,” Baca said, “and trying to find the right kids to see who would work best in different positions. We have finally settled into a rotation and those kids are performing and getting more confident each game. Our kids are learning to play under the pressure of a varsity match. Things are starting to come together.”
With five games left in the district, and a game against rival Goddard, things are looking up for the Lady Coyotes. If Roswell continues to play to their ability in those games, it looks like the Lady Coyotes should be favored.
“Every day that we have to improve,” is the message Baca tells her team at practice. “Every day we have to work hard. We have to continue to trust each other and the input they are getting from their coaching staff. For our seniors, this is it. This may be your last opportunity to play volleyball, let’s end on a good note.”
Roswell will have Senior Night on Thursday when they face Carlsbad at 6:30 p.m.
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.