By Marty Mayfield
The District 3AAA Volleyball Tournament Championship match on November 3rd was the fourth time the Raton Lady Tigers and the Desert Academy Lady Wildcats met this season. Earlier, Raton beat Desert Academy on October 30th in a tie breaker for the regular season district title giving Raton the right to host the Championship game
The Raton girls came into the match with a 6-1 district record while Desert Academy had a 5-2 district record. With the win from Monday fresh in their minds, the Lady Tigers came out strong and quickly gained a 10-point lead before the bottom fell out of the game. The blocks began to fall on the wrong side of the net and as Coach Tina Dorrance noted Raton had a few errors that cost them. By the time game one came to an end, Desert Academy had not only come from behind but won the game in overtime 26-24.
Game two saw the Lady Wildcats pull out early and gain a six point lead. The Lady Tigers late in the game battled back and came to within one but simply couldn’t make things gel and push it over. Game two ended with another Lady Wildcat win 25-21.
Game three took a turn for the Lady Tigers with blocks by Autumn Archuleta, Camryn Mileta, Halle Medina and Kerrigan Weese, making it over the net to the Wildcat side. The spikes by hitters Archuleta, Mileta, Camryn Stoecker and Jadyn Walton were finding the holes in the Lady Wildcat defense. The game stayed close with tie scores at 12, 14, 15 and finally 19 before Raton fought to pickup the win 25-22.
Game four followed the same pattern as game two with the Lady Tigers falling behind but staying in the battle. Down by as many as eight points at 18-10. The Lady Tigers found a groove and started scoring but lost the game at 25-22.
The Lady Tigers struggled against Desert Academy at home loosing both matches, but bested Desert Academy on their home court to win on the road as they bested Desert Academy. Coach Tina Dorrance noted it wasn’t the way we wanted, but the girls will go on to state and they can look forward to that.
Pool play will begin on Thursday November 9, 2017 setting the final bracket for the state tourney.