For the second season in a row, the Socorro Lady Warriors won its district championship. For the second season in a row, the team fell short of a state championship.
The five loss Lady Warriors went up against the five loss Bosque Lady Bobcats in the third round of the 2021 Rudy’s Barbecue State Championship. It took five sets to determine a winner. The Lady Bobcats sent Socorro packing with a nail biting 15-11 fifth set win.
Before the game, Bosque head coach Alyson Murphy had players warming up on court three at the Rio Rancho Sports Complex before the Lady Warriors came out to warm up as well.
“Our team got off to a rough start this season,” said Murphy. “Halfway through this year we came together as a team and it has been exponential growth. It’s really exciting to watch as a coach. We played Socorro earlier this season and lost in straight sets so we’re very excited to get a second chance at them.”
Things appeared good for the Lady Warriors. Seniors Jazlynn Armijo and Andri Peralta had Socorro up 14-9 in the first set. Bosque did not go away, but it was a 25-19 off an out-of-bounds shot by Socorro for a victory to start for the Lady Warriors.
The second set was nip-and-tuck with the teams trading scores at 8-6 Bosque leading when Warriors coach JB Mauldin called timeout. Seniors Taelene Fowler and Gabby Paz had critical hits and digs for Socorro. It was not enough as the Lady Bobcats ran away with the set 25-18 off a smash finisher on the court by sophomore Ella Pockman.
It was a mistake prone third set for Socorro. Shots into the net as well as missed passes had the Lady Warriors in a 10-3 hole. After recovering during a timeout, Socorro made it a battle. Junior Analyz Alderete made a block at the net to give the Lady Warriors momentum 22-19. Bosque finished the set on a 5-1 run to win 25-23.
The fifth and final set was all Bosque. Senior Anna Gillboard was all over the court as the Lady Bobcats sealed the win.
Players for the Warriors were emotional as they walked off the state championship floor after an early exit.
“I am so sorry for this team to lose this way,” senior Taelene Fowler said. “And yet I feel amazing for these girls and where this team is going moving on. We had it today but we made too many mistakes which cost us this game. This is a good group of girls and the only thing I’ll say is to keep pushing forward and work hard.”
Coach Mauldin reflected on the season after the game.
“Obviously we’re disappointed. I feel like we were the better team but we weren’t the better team today. We couldn’t get a rhythm going. We came up short here but the girls had a great season. Be proud of this team and be proud of what these girls accomplished. We didn’t put it together in the end but this team worked its butts off every week to get to this point.”
After defeating Socorro, Bosque went on to the semifinals, losing to the one seeded Robertson Cardinals. Robertson took home the state trophy without losing a set in all four rounds of the tournament.
The Lady Warriors volleyball team will say goodbye to six senior players; Taelene Fowler, Andri Peralta, Marissa Herrera, Jazlyn Armijo, Alex Peralta, Gabby Paz.