Home Sports Local Sports Goddard volleyball is ranked No. 1 in state

Goddard volleyball is ranked No. 1 in state

The Goddard defense, led by Sophia Valdez (9), blocks a Hobbs shot during a game on March 8 at Ground Zero. (Daily Record File Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Tom A. Ruiz
Special to RDR Sports

LOVINGTON — The No. 1 Goddard Lady Rockets (7-0 overall, 3-0 in District 4-4A) were just too physical in their district volleyball match against Lovington Saturday afternoon. The Lady Wildcats were unable to handle the hard-hitting Lady Rockets and Lovington lost in three sets, 25-7, 25-19, and 25-8.

When asked about the physicality of his team, Goddard’s third-year coach Dewayne Roberts said, “That’s one thing we preach to the girls, hit the ball as hard as you can within control. It allows us to play the game we want to play.”

Lovington had no answer. Time and time again, the Lady Rockets found wide-open spaces on the court, and they also snuck winning shots into tight spaces.

Goddard won the first set when senior Lacie Schooley laced a winner for the 25-7 route. That’s how much of a zone they were in while playing every bit like a No. 1 team.

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According to the MaxPreps scholastic rankings, not only is Goddard No. 1 in 4A, but No. 1 overall in New Mexico. Roberts was asked whether that’s a distraction at this stage of the season.

“A top-ranking matters at this time because of the way the state tournament is set up this year. If you’re one of the top four seeds, you get to host a first-round match on your home court. That’s a huge advantage and that’s what we’re pushing for,” he said.

Roberts had to remind his girls of that in set two. Lovington did not have the tools to match up against the Lady Rockets but they did make things competitive. Lovington took the early lead and was within six points, 13-19, late in the match.

The Lady Rockets, however, kept Lovington backing away from the net.

“When the opposing team sees how hard we’re hitting the ball, they tend to back up and that opens up more opportunities for us to execute different shots on the court,” Roberts said. Seeing that Lovington was gaining momentum though, Goddard did what good teams do — they closed out the Lady Wildcats.

“We stress that in practice, that when you have a lead, solidify that lead, and close it out as soon as you can,” Roberts said.

The win gives Goddard command of the district as they close out first-half play. On Tuesday, Goddard is at Portales for the second round of district play. First serve is at 6:30 p.m.

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