Alamosa survives rematch with Centauri to sweep series

Alamosa's Taylor Motz (10) cranks back to fire an attack as Madison Sowards (1) and Dynae Johnson (4) prepare their defense. Motz picked up 6 kills and 4 total blocks in Tuesday's win. (Courier photo by Stephen Jiron)

ALAMOSA — The AHS gymnasium was the scene for a hard fought battle between league rivals Alamosa and Centauri. After going the full five set distance Alamosa volleyball collected the win by a score of 3-2.

Over the weekend Alamosa (21-0) knocked off Pagosa Springs in three close sets, while Centauri (9-7) was in Bayfield for the Wolverine Triangular. The Falcons got a victory over Montezuma-Cortez 3-1 but couldn’t overcome host Bayfield, falling 3-2.

Every year it seems records go out the window when the Falcons and Moose meet each other on the court. The second meeting between these two teams in 2017 played out much the same way. Centauri was undefeated at 14-0 while Alamosa was nursing a 9-7 record. The Falcons outlasted Alamosa through five sets in La Jara on October 10th to stay undefeated.

Things are quite a bit different for the Moose this year. Alamosa boasts three girls near or at the top of the state in their respective stats. After Tuesday's game, junior Jordan Mobbley holds the number one spot in Colorado prep volleyball in assists with 673. Fellow junior Emily DePriest is in the No. 11 spot state wise in total blocks with 80. And senior Amy Lopez is thirteenth in the state in digs with 318.

There was a lot to play for on Tuesday night. “League games, they can always change. Momentum plays a big factor, and this is a huge game – emotional both ways”, said Alamosa Head Coach Annie Rice. All the pressure of a winning streak and the league rivalry all culminating on senior night seemed to jangle a few nerves in the early going.

The two teams were off to a slow start trading side outs and single points at serves to a 4-4 game. Alamosa shook off the jitters first and got rolling with a side out and a 3-point run to go up 8-4. Centauri responded immediately with four points of their own to tie it all back up.

Alamosa’s leading scorer senior Sylvie Caton was limited in her return for the Moose, despite nursing an injury Caton made the most of her minutes with solid back court play and consistency from the service line. With two five point rallies Alamosa got in great position for sophomore Terese Chavez to slam home a set winning side out. The Moose took set one 25-18.

In set two Centauri closed the distance. Alamosa looked to be taking control with five straight points to go up 7-2. Centauri senior Isabel Prieto forced a side out and went to the service line where the Falcons flipped the game with seven straight to take a 9-7 lead. Alamosa would close the distance and the two rivals stayed close down the stretch. A side out from Alamosa senior Amy Lopez gave the Moose a win in set two 25-23.

Seeing things come down to the wire in the previous set was enough to get the visiting crowd excited and the momentum took a swing. Every side-out, every ball on the line, every spike - the Centauri following exploded. The set-winning spike from Centauri senior Kaitlynn Martin spurred excitement in Falcon nation in the game that went beyond the Falcons 25-23 win in set three.

Set four was another nail biter that could have gone either way only being decided once it reached the twenties. At 20 all the Falcons scored a decisive blow with a pair of points. After keeping Alamosa to just one, another pair of points brought the Falcons to the match point. A 25-22 win in set four meant the Moose took the first two and the Falcons took the second two. With a palpable shift in emotion both crowds and teams tried to keep up high energy in the fifth.

As expected The competitive play continued into the final set. Alamosa scored five in a row to go up 7-5, the Falcons would answer with five and retake the lead 10-7. Before things got out of hand a side-out from Chavez gave the serve back to Alamosa where they collected another point to keep them in striking distance during the cycle of side-outs that followed.

Trailing 13-11 Alamosa put together the largest rally of the set with four straight points to claim a 15-13 win in set five taking the match 3-2.

For Alamosa Jordan Mobbley kept up her state leading assist number collecting another 43 on Friday night. The team lead in kills went to Terese Chavez with 13. Emily DePriest led Alamosa in total blocks with 11.

With a second big win against Centauri in the books Alamosa’s focus will now shift to Bayfield (5-10) and Monte Vista (1-13). Both games will take place within the cozy confines of the AHS gym. First up is the Wolverines on Oct. 13th at 2 p.m. Centauri will close their league schedule against Pagosa Springs (5-10) also Oct. 13th.


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