Lady Warriors head coch JB Mauldin was firing the girls up during an early timeout.
Greg Byrd | El Defensor Chieftain photos


The Lady Warriors claimed two wins in a row on a Tuesday night. It was not easy. The JV team took the full three sets to beat the Mescalero Apache Chiefs group. During the varsity game the Lady Warriors found themselves down 1-0. They were able to roar back and take the next three sets for a 3-1 victory.

“I just think we had a slow start here tonight,” Lady Warriors senior Marissa Herrera said. “We didn’t come out as strong as we usually do, and that also has to do with the fact that we didn’t have the time to warm up tonight. It was quick going into this game, but we were able to regroup mentally as a team and get the win.”

During the JV game, the Lady Warriors came out hot, winning the first match to the tune of 25-12. Ace serves were flying at lightning speed around its home court. The second set was a different story. The Lady Chiefs came out of the huddle with a purpose, leading to a 16-10 run that had JV coach Joni Mauldin calling for a timeout.

“We’re not set at the net the way we should. We have to communicate better,” she told the players in the huddle.

The Lady Warriors came out strong after the timeout. Tamra Fowler was strong at the net, cutting Mescalero’s lead to just two. It was 24-22 when Chiefs sophomore Paisley Plke had a big hit to win the second set 25-22. The Lady Warriors played with authority, bringing them up 6-1. A 15-8 result lead to the Lady Warriors victory.

The Lady Warriors were fighting on the floor for each volley.

Up next the Varsity squad hit the floor, rocking pink jerseys to honor breast cancer awareness month.

It was a shocker during the first set as junior Analyz Alderete seemed off her game, hitting balls both into the net as well as out of bounds early. She would make up big time for her mistakes later in the game. Apache senior Bianca Artiaga finished things off with a strong midcourt strike that gave the Chiefs a 25-21 win and a great head start for the game.

“I’m not sure what happened there,” Lady Warriors coach Mauldin said. “We started off slow and that is something we definitely need to work on. We get ourselves in a hole and we have to struggle to get back which is not how we want to play.”

The second set did not start off well for the Lady Warriors either, with a serve by senior Taelene Fowler hitting the net. It was not a gamechanger, particularly with senior Alex Peralta hitting multiple digs around the court. A four-point run had coach Mauldin calling timeout, then the Lady Warriors were playing with a purpose. It started with a big spike by Herrera at the net. Socorro was clearly more organized and communicative in the second set.

“We were all kind of off,” Fowler said. “Homecoming week kicked our butts and we weren’t on our game at first. But once our coach got into our heads to play as a team we were able to get in the game and find success.”

The slugfest went on from beginning to end. Fowler sealed the deal in the third with a spike, but it was Alderete who was the difference-maker.

The Lady Warriors finished things off in the fourth set to the tune of 25-17.

“I can’t take anything away from Mescalero,” Mauldin said. “They’re a really good team and they pushed us hard tonight. They’re tough defensively and great at finding the right spots to send the ball back to us. Fortunately, we were able to regroup after the opening set and come out with a win. Getting smarter as a team with ball control is what made the difference for us tonight.”

After the win the Lady Warriors have been on a losing streak, falling to Portales and St. Michael’s. Both losses came in straight sets 3-0. The Lady Warriors will return home for a showdown against Hot Springs on October 19.

NM Class 3A:

  1. St. Michael’s; 12-3.
  2. Socorro; 13-4.
  3. Hot Springs; 11-5.