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Eunice volleyball sweeps Lovington

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EUNICE – Two games into the season and the Eunice has a pair of victories, coming .

Lady Cardinals latest victory was a three set sweep of Lovington Thursday night.

“I thought we did pretty good tonight,” Eunice coach Robbie Robinson said. “It was a good win. We will take a W all the time.”

Despite her team coming out on the losing end, Lovington head coach Savannah Stockton liked the improvement she saw from her team Thursday night after losing to Clovis on Tuesday.

“Game one, I think we had a whole bunch of jitters,” Stockton said. “We have only played together for a week outside of pods. So, we are trying to get back into the groove of things. I’ve got some new people trying to move into roles they are not used to because somebody else had that role last year and tonight I think we did a much better job of stepping into those roles we needed to.”

While the Lady Cardinals got the win, Lovington didn’t make it easy. The Lady Wildcats (0-2) battled in the first and third sets before Eunice ultimately won 25-15, 25-8, 25-20.

Early on, the first set was close. There were six lead changes and seven ties as the two teams traded leads up to a 10-10 tie. However, from that point on, Eunice took control, closing out the set on a 15-5 run.

“That is kind of how it went at Clovis too,” Stockton said. “We just didn’t make anymore points after that. But, we kind of figured it out and are no longer getting mad at our teammates for making mistakes.”

With the help of some timely kills from Kaitlyn Gallant, Eunice dominated the second set. Gallant tallied five kills in the second set.

“She is our best hitter,” Robinson said. “She is a big girl and has a powerful swing. She is our bread and butter. She went out there and did a good job.”

Tuesday the Lady Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but couldn’t hold it and needed five sets to get the win. Thursday that wasn’t the case, though the final set was close.

“I was proud of the girls,” Robinson said. “I thought we did a much better job of playing. Our problem is always that we will do good the first two and then we choke and have to fight to get back. I thought they did good keeping that momentum going.”

During the final set, the Lady Wildcats got the first point, but never led after that. However, they didn’t let the Lady Cardinals run away either. The set was tied three times and Eunice didn’t take the lead for good until going up 5-4.

After getting the lead for good, the Lady Cardinals attempted to put some distance between them and the Lady Wildcats, but couldn’t get a lead larger than six points. Lovington battled Eunice all the way to the end before Eunice got the 25-20 win.

“I thought we did a little bit better on our coverage,” Robinson said. “I thought our hits were a little off tonight, but I think coverage-wise we did better. With the defensive scheme, I thought we did a better job.”

Lovington never gave up and Stockton was pleased with what she saw from her team.

“That third (set), you could tell, there was a whole lot of difference,” Stockton said. “We had the bench helping a little bit and getting involved and getting excited about things. We are just trying to work together.”

The 20 points scored by Lovington, were the most the Lady Wildcats have scored in a set over their first six sets this season.

“If we eliminate a couple mistakes here and there, that could have been a completely different game and it could have been a turning point for us,” Stockton said. “We are working toward the next game. Hopefully we see a little bit of a different outcome in our next game.”

The Lady Wildcats, they will hold their home opener on Saturday afternoon when Texico comes to town.

As for Eunice, the Lady Cardinals will be back on their home court tonight to host Loving at 6:30 p.m. The junior varsity and middle school teams will get things going with the middle school starting at 4:30 p.m. and the JV going at 5:30 p.m.

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