Camren Paz was all smiles during warmups.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

It was an instant volleyball classic Tuesday, and future matches between youth-laden Socorro and Magdalena will only improve after the Steers escaped with a narrow 3-2 road win over the Lady Warriors.

Both teams struggled to maintain their consistency while showing the flashes of the future by keeping each off balance. For Steers coach Sara Sue Olney, the battle was in getting her team to communicate with each other.

“We are super young, and we’re still learning how to play and win together,” Olney said. “That was huge for us to battle back. We still have a lot to do, but if we can learn how to win this kind of battle, then it doesn’t have to be pretty. It just has to work on the scoreboard.”

The Steers took the early lead with a 25-16 win in game one as the Lady Warriors struggled with their defensive positioning and got a little too crowded up at the net when attacking the ball.

In the second game, the Lady Warriors got on top early and began to gain confidence in their offensive scheme. The Steers battled back to tie it at 24-24 before the Lady Warriors rattled off two straight points for a narrow 26-24 win.

Adding to Socorro’s youth problems was head coach Christie Chavez being sidelined by an illness. Still, junior varsity coach Jaden Jones had the Lady Warriors showing flashes of brilliance while also dealing with the typical mistakes due to lack of experience.

“Our big thing right now is calling the ball,” Jones said. “We do good when we are up, but when we are down, we tend to bring each other down, so we are working on calling the ball and communicating. I told the girls before the last match that I didn’t want to see any balls hitting the floor.”

Before the Lady Warriors got to the final match, they won the third one, 25-21, and the Steers returned the favor with a 25-14 win.

Neither team could gain a significant advantage in the final game, and Magdalena squeezed out the victory with an 18-16 advantage.

While the Steers came away with a victory, Olney knows her team still has a long way to go.

“We have got to work together and communicate with each other. We have a lot of girls who have never played with each other,” Olney said.

It was evident Olney was looking for a leader to step up as she stepped away from her squad to let them talk among themselves. She kept a watchful eye to see who would step up.

“I was senior-heavy last year, and now we are learning how to play together. We just have to communicate,” Olney said.

Magdalena 2022 Roster

Irene Martinez, Aliza Apache, Elia Cleveland, Oliviah Clark, Jorianne Mirabal, Kaydence Autry, Hanna Guerro, Kambree Montoya, Monique Baca, Melody Summers.

Socorro 2022 Roster

Tivonne Anaya, Tamra Fowler, Kayana Acosta, Camren Paz, Kaylee Hall, Jaylin Gonzales, Davaeh Murrieta, Lila Azar, Kaedyn Gonzales, Jayden Kayser, Amy Martinez, Reyna Alvarado, Marissa Scates.

Russell Huffman, El Defensor Chieftain Asst. Editor