NMMI Sports Press
In order to even have a chance to finish the season with a winning record, the Colt volleyball team had to top Gateway Christian at the Red Rock Center Monday.
And with a verbal push from coach Stephanie Schooley and loud cheering from members of Abigail Valadez’ family, they did just that, winning 25-23, 23-25, 25-14, 17-25, 15-2.
“I told the girls in Game 4, maybe one game too soon, that we’ve got to get this win so we can end up above .500,” Schooley said. “They didn’t fight very hard in Game 4, but came back in Game 5 and really took control of the game and capitalized on some good plays.”
Game 1 started out in the Warriors favor as they took a 7-1 lead. But NMMI battled back, tying it at 11-all on four serves from Mia Walker, some nice saves by Kelsey Duru, and some mistakes by Gateway. GCS went back up briefly, but after another tie, this one at 13-13, the Colts took a lead and never trailed again.
But Gateway didn’t go quietly, closing the gap to 24-23 on a long volley they finally won and an ace by Sarah Martin. But a Warrior hitting error made it NMMI’s game.
Game 2 was almost the exact opposite, as the Colts went up first then GCS fought back. There were eight ties in the game, and each side held the lead. The Colts were two points from victory, at 23-20, on an ace by Walker and good hit by Alyssa Bolander. But after NMMI lost the serve on a ball off the ceiling, Warrior Savannah Fox notched three straight serves, then a pair of side outs on hitting errors gave Gateway the win.
“We worked so hard to get back in that game and then to let it go right there at the end, that was hard,” Schooley said. “Because it could have been over after Game 3. Game 2 was a tough one.”
NMMI took Game 3 easily, getting the first five points and never trailing. Game 4 saw GCS go up big early and never trail, then Game 5 belonged completely to the C0lts, as they quickly went up 10-1 and never looked back.
“I’m just glad that Game 5, only playing to 15, we didn’t have time to be bad for a couple of points,” Schooley said. “So I’m glad the girls were finally able to pull together and finish a match, instead of just letting up and letting go.”
The varsity will wrap up their season Oct. 4 at home vs. Clovis Christian, and a victory would mean a winning season record for the Lady Colts.
The junior varsity closed out their short season with an easy 25-14, 25-13 victory over the young Warriors, a team they had to battle to beat in three in the season opener.
The win gave the JV a winning record with a 3-1 mark on the season, which had coach Katie Dollahon excited.
“We have improved over the season, and that really showed tonight,” she said. At the beginning, we were always passing back and forth, but we actually got some good pass, sets and hits this game. So I’m really proud of coming from where we started to where we are now, and to win in two games it just shows how much we’ve improved this season.”
And with a number of young players on the JV squad, Dollahon is anticipating next year.
“We’re looking forward to them coming back next year to help with our varsity team,” she said.