Cibola, San Luis go five sets for third time
There just seems to be something about volleyball matches between Cibola and San Luis.
For the third time this season, the two teams went the distance and for the second time, it was Cibola who came out on top in five sets.
Victoria Villa led the Raiders with seven kills and Cibola beat the Sidewinders 16-25, 25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 15-13 at home on Wednesday.
“I don't mind playing five sets, just as long as we play how we did and come back and win it,” Villa said.
Victoria Sanchez had six kills and 11 digs, Grecia Villa had 17 digs and MacKenzie Ott and Bethany Olea each had four blocks for the Raiders. Diana Gonzalez had a game-high 13 kills for the Sidewinders while Kathya Cazarez added eight and Rebecca Valenzuela added seven.
The Raiders won 3-2 at San Luis on Sept. 12 and the Sidewinders won 3-2 at Cibola on Sept. 20.
“The athleticism on both sides is pretty equal and the desire and the passion for volleyball,” San Luis coach Melissa Hernandez said.
After leading 10-6 in the first set, San Luis (4-9) rattled off six straight points — including four aces by Cazarez — to cruise to a 25-16 win. Late in the opening set, Cibola sophomore middle blocker Niki Lokareddy dropped to the floor holding her right knee and writhing in pain. Cibola coach Juliann Umphress said that Lokareddy, who spent the rest of the match on the Cibola bench with ice wrapped to her knee, most likely dislocated her knee — an injury she had last season.
“She's a good player and we don't have a lot of middles. So for her to come out of the game, everybody else had to adjust to a different position,” Umphress said.
In the fifth and deciding game, the Raiders (6-7) jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead and looked in control — but the Sidewinders wouldn't go away. Even after a block by Alexis Evans put the Raiders ahead 14-10, Cazarez came up with a tip kill and the Raiders knocked the following two points into the net to make it 14-13. On the next serve, Valenzuela rushed far to the left to keep the ball in play but the back line judge ruled that her shot over to Cibola's side didn't make it inside the antenna.
“We like to go the distance,” Umphress said about the five-set matches with San Luis. “I don't know what it is, it's just every time we play we have to go to five.”