The Peñasco Lady Panthers showed up to play on Thursday evening (Oct. 10) when they hosted district rival Questa at home, using a string of masterful offensive setups and forceful attacks to sweep the Lady Wildcats in straight sets.
The Peñasco Lady Panthers showed up to play on Thursday evening (Oct. 10) when they hosted district rival Questa at home.
From the first set until the last, Peñasco used a string of masterful offensive setups and forceful attacks from players like Ariana MacAuley and Carly Gonzales to sweep the Lady Wildcats in straight sets.
"We decided to play more intensely because it's a district game," MacAuley told the Taos News. "And we tried to limit our mistakes and get it over with."
Questa was able to get a point on the scoreboard first when it scored on an error by Peñasco. But that was about the only glimpse of positive production that the Lady Wildcats really had in the first set, as Peñasco put up seven straight points from thereon to grab a comfortable lead.
And it stayed comfortable for the Lady Panthers for the remainder of the set. Up 13-7, Gonzales showed her force when hitting the ball as she was able to score on a nice attack that was set up perfectly by her teammates. Peñasco, from then on, didn't have much to worry about as it went on to breeze through the first set with a 25-7 victory.
"We didn't show up," Diane León, Questa's head coach, said about her team's first set performance and play overall. "We didn't play, we didn't talk. It's like the team wasn't here."
And that stretch of shoddy play continued for Questa throughout the match.
Peñasco switched positions with Questa in the second set and would be the first team to score, as it scored its first four points on serves that were unreturnable by the Lady Wildcats. Gonzales continued her assault of attacks, and so did MacAuley, helping the Lady Panthers secure another easy set victory, 25-12.
In the third set, Peñasco saw MacAuley and her teammates score five straight points early on, while Questa continued to struggle. MacAuley was masterful, too, using a barrage of strikes throughout the frame to help her team extend its lead - and it surely didn't help Questa's confidence one bit.
The Lady Panthers eventually closed out the third and final set with an ace courtesy of Jennifer Aguilar, to give them the 25-14 set victory.
"The team is doing a much better job on the floor," Peñasco head coach Maxine Abeyta said of her team's performance on Thursday night. "They are talking and moving their feet, making things happen. When the team is serving well, the game goes so much smoother."
Peñasco's dominant performance included seven kills and 10 points from MacAuley, while Gonzales contributed 18 points overall and 11 kills.
The two teams will each compete in a couple of important district matches before they meet up again in Questa for an Oct. 29 matchup.
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