St. Michael’s beats Demonettes in straight sets
Season 1 is over with for the St. Michael’s volleyball program.
Season 2 begins almost immediately.
The Lady Horsemen ended the nondistrict portion of their schedule with a resounding 25-16, 26-24, 25-20 win over Santa Fe High in Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium on Thursday night. At 9-1, St. Michael’s enter the District 2-3A season with loads of momentum and the top ranking in Class 3A, according to the New Mexico Overtime SportsCenter coaches poll.
Valerie Sandoval, the St. Michael’s head coach, was aware of her team’s new poll standing, but it wasn’t necessarily something she wanted the Lady Horsemen to rest their laurels upon just yet.
“The day [the poll] came out [on Tuesday], we didn’t talk about it in practice because I didn’t want to,” Sandoval said. “But it came to my attention they were talking about it before practice [the next day], and we did talk about it. I congratulated them, but said that being number one doesn’t matter for [Thursday’s match].”
St. Michael’s came out in the opening game and took control, building an 18-9 lead behind strong serving and defense that slowed down the Demonettes’ attack. That has been Sandoval’s focus since the first day of practice in August.
“It’s probably 90 percent of our practices, serving and passing,” Sandoval said. “There’s not a whole lot of hitting because we can’t focus on that until our passing is perfect. If we focus on hitting, then we are focusing on the wrong thing.”
Santa Fe High (5-4) battled back in Game 2 and tied it at 24-all on Salome Romp’s kill. The Lady Horsemen scored the last two points on a Joelyn Fernandez kills off the block and a Miquela Martinez kill that found the right corner of the court.
St. Michael’s begins the district season on the road, heading to Raton on Saturday before hosting Santa Fe Prep on Oct. 2. Santa Fe High plays host to Albuquerque High on Oct. 2 for the District 5-5A opener.