Melrose slips by Dora

Tony Parra

DORA — A two-game deficit was too much for the Dora Lady Coyotes as Melrose escaped with a 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 11-25, 15-13 victory Tuesday in a District 3-1A matchup.
“We played really hard,” Dora coach Myra Skinner said. “We passed the ball well and we played real aggressive. We didn’t let anything hit the floor.”
The victory guaranteed the Lady Buffaloes (6-3 in district) the third seed in the district tournament that begins on Monday.
Fort Sumner leads the district at 8-1 and Elida is 7-1. Fort Sumner beat Elida in a five games Tuesday.
“It was a rough one,” Melrose coach Melissa Ham said. “It was touch and go. I give them credit on their digs. We struggled in the match, but we kept working hard. We’re very fortunate to come away with a victory.”
Melrose was on its way to clinching the match with a 13-7 lead in the third game, but that is when the Lady Coyotes turned the tide.
Dora (4-5 in district) scored six unanswered points to tie the game, then D’Shawn Pettigrew slammed a cross-court kill to give the Lady Coyotes their first lead at 15-14.
The teams battled back and forth until Dora nudged ahead 22-19. The Lady Coyotes held on for a 25-19 win to send the match to a fourth game.
“We were a lot more confident,” Clark said. “We need to keep our intensity and our focus. We just lack consistency. We made mental mistakes.”
Dora held a 10-7 edge in the fifth game when the Lady Buffaloes’ Jessica Hail followed up a Melrose point with a kill shot to cut the Dora lead to 10-9.
Trailing 13-10, Melrose closed out the match with a 5-0 that included with two kills and a block from Allison Cochran .
“We never gave up,” Ham said. “We stopped moving around in the third and fourth games and we missed our serves. We try to get in 95 percent of our serves and we didn’t do that. It was a matter of not giving up and we kept grinding away.”
The Lady Coyotes have clinched the fourth seed in the district tournament and finishes their regular season Thursday at Elida.
Fort Sumner 3, Elida 2 — At Fort Sumner, the Vixens rallied from a two-game deficit and tied the Lady Tigers for the District 3-1A lead.
Kayla Britain had 20 kills and 15 digs for Fort Sumner (14-4, 8-1 district) in the 22-25, 22-25, 25-14, 25-14, 15-6 win. Sandy Fortner added 18 kills.
Despite the win, Fort Sumner coach Lisa McMath said the Lady Tigers (8-1) hold the upper hand in the district in the event the teams finish tied on the basis of games won head-to-head.
Fort Sumner hosts Melrose on Thursday in its final district match.
Elida beat Fort Sumner at home earlier this season in four games.