By George Morse
McCurdy Charter School defeated Tierra Encantada Charter School from Santa Fe 25-5, 25-17, 25-9 in its final regular season game Oct. 30 at McCurdy. The Lady Bobcats will now wait to see when and who they will play in the District 2-2A tournament.
The Bobcats finished the regular season in third place in District 2-2A with a 2-4 district record. The Lady Alacranes (Scorpions) were in fourth place with a 0-6 district record. Monte del Sol Charter School and Desert Academy will face off Friday to determine the District 2-2A champion. Desert Academy is currently in first place with a 5-0 record, while Monte del Sol is 4-1 in district play. The district tournament schedule will be determined Sunday.
McCurdy dominated the match as Tierra Encantada had trouble receiving serve against the Lady Bobcats. Most points ended with an ace serve or with the Alacranes unable to get the ball back over the net more than a couple of times. Two long service runs of nine points each by Devyn Cordova and Sierra Waters ended the first set quickly.
Tierra Encantada did manage to rally near the end of the second set as McCurdy had its own troubles getting the ball back over the net. Tierra Encantada fought off eight set points when the score was 24-9 before losing 25-17 in the second set.
The third set ended quickly as McCurdy took a 12-1 lead and the match ended on an ace serve by Allison Cantrell.
McCurdy Coach Josephine (Jojo) Sanchez was able to change a few things during the match.
“In the first set, I played all my seniors because I wanted them to be able to play together in one of their last home games,” she said. “In the second set, I played my juniors because I wanted them to get used to playing together for next season.”
The Bobcats also began to set senior libero Jayme Bustos in the back row to give her a chance to swing at the ball. Bustos is one of four McCurdy volleyball players that also run for the Bobcats’ cross country team.
”It’s going good,” Bustos said. “I enjoy both sports as much (as the other). The time works out pretty good, but sometimes I’m sore. The cross country team is really doing really good.”
The Lady Bobcats volleyball team are 5-13 overall. McCurdy began the season with McCurdy Athletic Director Christian Lopez as coach. Midway through the season, Lopez stepped down and Sanchez took over as coach. The Lady Bobcats have responded well to her leadership. McCurdy has four volleyball players that also run for the Bobcats girls cross country team. McCurdy’s cross country coach is Chris Sanchez, who happens to be Josephine Sanchez’s husband. Josephine Sanchez served as an assistant cross country coach before she took over as volleyball coach and still works with both teams.
“I go run with them at four o’clock,” Josephine Sanchez said. “After we run we come straight here (McCurdy’s Memorial Gym) and stay until seven.”
By doing this, it helps create a bond between her and the players.
“My husband and I believe that you should never ask someone to do what you are not willing to do yourself,” Sanchez said. “When they see me do it they see they can do it too.”
Sanchez has done this before. She was a cross country runner and volleyball player at Penasco High School.
Junior Jeneva Serrano and freshman Allison Cantrell are two more McCurdy players who pull double duty on the volleyball and cross country teams.
“It’s very demanding,” Serrano said. “You have to manage your time and you have no social life. You have to take care of yourself.”
Cantrell agrees that taking care of yourself is important.
“You have to be careful of what you do to your body,” she said. “You don’t want to overwork yourself. I really like both sports and it’s important to support and represent your school.”
Junior Avanecia Maestas is the other two-sport athlete. She runs for the junior varsity cross country team and prefers it to varsity.
”I enjoy it way more,” she said. “There’s no pressure.”
Senior outside hitter Devyn Cordova and senior middle blocker Erika Loera-Avila are McCurdy’s top offensive threats. Senior Olivia Cantrell is the setter. Unfortunately, they did not get a chance to run much offense against Tierra Encantada since so many of McCurdy’s points came on ace serves and passing errors.
“It’s frustrating,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez is also enjoying her stint as coach.
“I love volleyball,” she said. “Getting to know the girls and seeing them grow as a team. They’ve come a long ways.”
McCurdy’s one chance of getting to the state volleyball tournament is to win theDistrict2-2A tournament.
“The talent is there,” Sanchez said. “They need to be thinking together as a team.”