Volleyball

Peñasco Lady Panthers win district title

By Matthew Narvaiz
sports@taosnews.com
Posted 11/14/19

The Peñasco Lady Panthers are district champions.

After defeating Escalante in their first matchup of the District 5-2A tournament, the Lady Panthers faced Coronado in the championship match on Thursday (Nov. 7) -- a team they hadn't beaten in two prior meetings this season and a team which had gone undefeated all season long.

You have exceeded your story limit for this 30-day period.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Volleyball

Peñasco Lady Panthers win district title

Posted

By Matthew Narvaiz

sports@taosnews.com

The Peñasco Lady Panthers are district champions.

After defeating Escalante in their first matchup of the District 5-2A tournament, the Lady Panthers faced Coronado in the championship match on Thursday (Nov. 7) -- a team they hadn't beaten in two prior meetings this season and a team which had gone undefeated all season long.

Until now.

After four back-and-forth sets, the Lady Panthers gave the Lady Leopards their first loss of the season and, in the process, took home the crown as district champions.

Now, the Lady Panthers will compete in the Class 2A state tournament starting on Thursday (Nov. 14) and, depending on if they keep winning, can play matches all the way up until Sunday (Nov. 17), which would be the day of the championship match.

However, winning the district tournament title and making it to state wasn't exactly the easiest, Peñasco head coach Maxine Abeyta said.

Against Escalante, the Lady Panthers took all five sets to squeeze out a victory.

Peñasco won the first set 25-22, but dropped the second and third sets. The Lady Panthers took the fourth set, 25-23, but it was the fifth and final set victory -- 15-0 -- that was most impressive, and not because Peñasco had shut out the Lady Lobos.

It was impressive because, in the final set, Carly Gonzales was the player for Peñasco who scored all 15 of her team's points, which inevitably gave her team the victory over Escalante.

"She was on fire and her team kept her on the line with zero mistakes," Abeyta said. "It was intense and thrilling at the same time."

Abeyta said that the girls understood that if they lost the match, their season was most likely over. That, in turn, had a big effect on them getting such a big win.

So it was with that mindset -- their season coming to an end and not making the state tournament -- that the Lady Panthers continued to play volleyball at an intense level.

Abeyta said that, after the Escalante win, her team's confidence was "high."

Peñasco won the first set against Coronado, 25-23, the second set, 25-22 and the fourth and final set, 25-7.

Abeyta said that she and the team knew they had the tools necessary to beat a team like Coronado and that if they wanted a guaranteed spot in the state tournament, they would have to defeat the undefeated in convincing fashion.

And they did.

"Frankly, I knew we were going to win, just had that feeling all day," Abeyta said. "And, of course, these girls didn't disappoint."

After the tournament win, the all-tournament teams were announced and Gonzales was named MVP for her efforts over the two district tournament matches. Adrianna Tafoya and Ariana MacAuley made all-tournament and Jennifer Aguilar and Leandra Romero were honorable mentions.

The No. 9 Lady Panthers will now face No. 8 Monte Del Sol Charter School early Thursday morning (Nov. 14). If Peñasco wins, they'll play again later in the day against No. 1 Texico.

Peñasco faced Monte Del Sol once during the regular season and lost 3-1.

Comments


Private mode detected!

In order to read our site, please exit private/incognito mode or log in to continue.