The Socorro Lady Warriors pose with their state runner-up trophy after falling to Sandia Prep 3–0 in the state championship on Friday.
Caitie Ihrig | El Defensor Chieftain photos

On Friday, the No. 1 Socorro Lady Warriors volleyball team fell 3–0 to the No. 2 Sandia Prep Lady Sundevils in the 2020–21 Rudy’s Real Texas Bar-B-Q Volleyball State Championships at The Pit.

“We just never could get into a rhythm and that’s credit to Sandia Prep,” Socorro head coach JB Mauldin said. “They came out and they really played a great game. They kept us off balance. We couldn’t quite get anything going. It wasn’t our day, but I’m really proud of the girls.”

Leading up to the championship game, Mauldin said the Lady Warriors prepared for the various attacks that the Lady Sundevils run, but that they just weren’t able to get it going during the championship game.

Andri Peralta sets the ball during the third set of Socorro’s 3–0 loss.

“They passed the ball well,” Mauldin said of Sandia Prep. “They served the ball well. They had a lot of different attacks that we couldn’t quite adapt to today. They have some really tall girls at the net and they just kept us off balance. We never could quite get it on track. We did our best. That is a really good team and we will definitely try to be back.”

The Lady Warriors played from behind for the majority of all three sets as the Lady Sundevils started the first set with a 6–0 lead that came from a slew of Socorro mistakes.

Socorro was able to cut their deficit to three points, but Sandia Prep took over the set again and added another six points to the board.

For the rest of the first set, the Lady Warriors were unable to cut into the Lady Sundevils lead and didn’t score more than three consecutive points. The majority of points scored in the first set were due to mistakes from both teams as only 6 of the 39 total points of the set didn’t come from mistakes. The final score of the first set was 25–14.

Marysa Ocampo started the second set off for the Lady Warriors with two aces, but the set soon tied at three and then again at four.

Lucy Stuteville hits the ball during Socorro’s game on Friday.

The Lady Sundevils found their rhythm again and took a 10–5 lead. Four Sandia Prep mistakes and a hit by Socorro’s Garee Celine Apodaca made it an 10–8 set, but hits by the Lady Sundevils gave them a 14–9 lead. Socorro was able to cut their deficit to one multiple times, but with a 16–15 score, a Sandia Prep scoring run gave them a six point lead.

Both teams were able to add points to the board towards the end of the second set as points from Apodaca and Analyz Alderete made it a 22–18 set. To close out the second, each team added three points to the board to make it a 25–21 set.

Socorro’s Taelene Fowler scored the first point of the third set via a hit, but after the score tied at one and two, the Lady Sundevils ran away with a 10–4 lead.

Sandia Prep kept a consistent lead for the majority of the set until they were ahead 17–11. The Lady Sundevils made four consecutive mistakes to put the Lady Warriors down by two. With an 18–16 score, two Lady Sundevil mistakes and an ace by Fowler put the Lady Warriors ahead 19–18. The set then tied at 20, but two Socorro mistakes gave the lead back to Sandia Prep. After a serving error by the Lady Sundevils, three Lady Warrior mistakes gave Sandia Prep the 25–21 win in the third set.

“They overcame some sets where we played bad and then came back and turned it around — that’s what we were going to try and do today, it just wasn’t in the cards,” Mauldin said. “I’m proud of them all around. They played great all year. They stuck together all year. They played together all year. They worked hard. Everybody stayed positive all year. We came up a little bit short, but I’m definitely proud of the girls.”