Alamosa spikers endure fifth straight 5-gamer

Photo courtesy of Joel Priest Alamosa’s Mary Macias, left, stuffs down a botched tip attempt by Bayfield’s Sage Killough (16).

Alamosa spikers endure fifth straight 5-gamer BHS wins 3-2; Moose go 3-2 during savage stretch

BAYFIELD — Going the distance, very much literally as well as figuratively, Alamosa Volleyball completed Saturday afternoon a scheduling stretch the Mean Moose may not even wish upon their worst enemies.

With a five-match grind having commenced March 30 at 2A Hoehne, AHS invaded Bayfield hoping to not only recover from the previous night’s unsuccessful full-pull at 3A Intermountain-leading Montezuma-Cortez, but also to do so much faster.

Unfortunately, neither objective was achieved; forced into a tiebreaking fifth game for an improbable fifth consecutive outing—all on the road, mind you—Alamosa, at the time ranked eighth in the Class 3A poll, fell 29-27, 15-25, 25-19, 24-26, 13-15 against the then-No. 13 Lady Wolverines, the day after losing 14-25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-18, 3-15 at undefeated No. 10 M-CHS.

“We wanted to jump out and start with high energy—playing quick, that’s what works best for us,” said exhausted senior setter Lora Ortega, who registered an impressive 33-assist, 31-dig double-double inside BHS Gymnasium.  “I think we just came in excited, ready to play.”

After the C and JV matches both went to tiebreaking third games (with AHS emerging victorious in each), the Moose stormed onto the scene, taking a 5-0 lead on senior Alyssa Crowther’s serve and forcing Bayfield into an unwanted timeout.

And though Alamosa’s lead would max out at 17-7, the Lady Wolverines fought back to not only tie at 21, but earn the serve at 24-23 following junior Annie Fusco’s back-row roll shot.

With extra points ultimately required, AHS would finally claim the game via sophomore Sydney Jackson terminating an Ortega back-set for a kill, then Fusco spiking wide down the line.

Expectedly incensed overseeing their comeback come up short, Bayfield made amends in Game 2, leading virtually wire-to-wire and evening the match via an Emily Nelson kill teed up by fellow junior Sage Killough.

AHS sophomore Avery Mobbley began Game 3 successfully jousting a ball against Nelson, and the Moose rode Crowther’s serving again to a 5-0 lead, which rapidly inflated to 8-1 before BHS began to steady.  After senior Melissa Roberts smashed a near-vertical kill inside the far antenna, emphatically cutting Alamosa’s lead to 17-13, Annie Rice wisely took a timeout as the home fans’ volume reached its loudest yet.

And the Lady Wolverines got no closer than 17-15 before Alamosa separated and won on an Ortega tip and then a Mobbley-Mary Macias tandem stuff of Nelson.

Able to build a 5-2 lead early in Game 4, the Moose were not only able to fight off repeated Bayfield advances—a Fusco kill eventually re-tied the score at 13-all—before gradually reaching game point at 24-19 after Mobbley denied Brooke Merchant.

But somehow, someway Bayfield wouldn’t wilt; put on serve at 24-20, Nelson would remain at the line as two Roberts push shots, an Alamosa serve-reception error and a Macias attack sent long produced a 24-24 tie.  Macias then sent a free ball long and out of play, before BHS’ unlikely rally met completion via a Moose setting error.

“Definitely it was, like, back-and-forth—we beat them very close—but it was (because of) a lot of motivation with each other,” Fusco said.

“We’ve been very motivated since the last time we lost to Alamosa…. What we’ve talked about is to play as a team, not individually; the team comes before yourself.”

Swapping evenly out to 4-4 in Game 5, helped by two of junior Malia Tuioti-Mariner’s eight kills, AHS would take a 7-4 lead after a Bayfield lift infraction, a Crowther tip and a Fusco hitting error.  BHS would soon tie at 7-7, but the Moose responded with Crowther (13 kills, 21 digs) slamming a cross-court kill and senior Madi Martin zipping over an unreturnable serve.

Alamosa’s lead would reach 10-8 before the Lady Wolverines went on a sudden 4-0 burst capped by a booming Roberts kill off Ortega and a Nelson ace of libero Mila Cook (32 digs).  Rice would soon have to use her second and final timeout after Roberts downed a kill for a 13-11 lead.

Inserted in place of Merchant, junior Karyssa Gosney’s serve attempt failed.

But Roberts, who’d finish with a match-high 20 kills at a vicious .452 percentage, struck back with a kill.

With the Lady Wolverines sitting on match point, 14-12, Mobbley managed to score with a tip and regain Alamosa the serve, but Killough (44 assists) again went to Roberts for the match-ender.

Fusco pounded down 11 kills at an error-offset .000 rate, and Nelson seven at .136.  Nelson tallied a team-high 24 digs, while sophomore libero Myrah Abdallah-Boehm booked 20 and Fusco 16.  Killough racked up a reported 13 to complete her double-double.

Mobbley, who downed seven kills offensively, was credited with 28 digs to go along with six total (1 solo, 5 assisted) blocks.  Macias was in on a whopping 11 (5s, 6a) blocks, and Jackson (3s, 7a) also cracked double-digit denials.  Tuioti-Mariner also exceeded 20 digs, finishing with a reported 26 in the marathon match.

Slipping temporarily into fourth place in the Intermountain behind BHS—against which Alamosa holds a 5-to-4 sets-won advantage during the teams’ regular-season split—the Moose (6-3, 3-3 IML) will next host Centauri (2-6, 1-5) Tuesday night, April 13.  Having edged CHS in five—by scores of 15-25, 25-21, 13-25, 26-24, 13-15—the night before surviving AHS, Bayfield (6-3, 4-3 IML) will wrap up their league work the same night at Pagosa Springs (3-5, 0-4).

“Centauri…that’s a big rival(ry) game for us,” said Ortega.  “I think we just need to work on keeping our energy high, not letting…one mistake turn into five, and just staying aggressive.”



Video News