Elida Tigers Volleyball

Elida Tigers Volleyball
Posted on 09/09/2018
Elida Tigers Volleyball

Elida tops Fort Sumner, moves to 3-1
From Eastern New Mexico News
Eric Murray

ELIDA — After losing some key seniors, following a heartbreaking loss in last year’s 1A title game, Elida volleyball came into the 2018 season hungrier than ever. On Saturday, it showed, as the Tigers disposed of the Fort Sumner Vixens in three sets, 25-14, 25-12, 25-20.

“They’re volleyball-minded,” Tigers coach Darrell Chenault said. “They really see the floor well, play the floor well, they hit a lot of spots that were open and they see ‘em, and then they cover a lot of balls that they see where the other team is going. It’s really a good win for us.”

Elida (3-1) and Fort Sumner (1-3) went back and forth in the opening set, with the score tied up at 6-6. However, the Tigers would allow just eight points the rest of the set. Elida would then go on an 8-0 run in the second set, pulling away to take it 25-12.

The Tigers would then get out to a fast 8-1 start in the third game, before the Vixens rallied back to close the gap to 13-11. Ultimately, however, the Tigers managed to hang-on for a five-point set victory.

“We’re young — very young. Only two of my girls have significant varsity experience — my two middles,” Vixens coach Michelle Bonds explained. “Just young mistakes, but we’ll get there.”

Bonds says that her team’s main focus is to simply get better every single point, set and match. Her Vixens host the Vixen Classic next Friday and Saturday, while Elida hosts Eunice on Monday at 5.

Chenault says that improved passing will be key going forward. “I’ll never stop saying we’re a good enough passing team. You gotta be a passing team,” Chenault said. “(Fort Sumner) struggled passing, we struggled passing, at times. That’s gotta be your No. 1 goal every day.”

Nonetheless, Chenault is pleased with the early results. His Tigers’ seven-straight state titles streak was snapped in the 1A final against Melrose a season ago, but he likes the attitude his 2018 team displays.

“I guess hungry as a bummer. It’s gonna leave a bitter taste in your mouth. You’re excited about playing in that championship game. We wanted to keep the run going, but we also knew it wasn’t gonna last forever,” Chenault explained.

“But, we got some people here that still love volleyball, and they want to go back. I don’t know if it can happen, but they’re gonna try really hard to make it happen."