Fort Sumner romps in regional opener

Fort Sumner’s Tobea Patterson goes up for the block on Cimarron’s Mandi Trujillo Friday night in Fort Sumner.

John Eisel: CNJ sports writer

FORT SUMNER — Leslie Wood passed to her left. She passed to her right. Sometimes she even passed behind her. But the senior setter for Fort Sumner almost always put the ball in the right position for teammates Kayla Britain, Tobea Patterson and Sandy Fortner to spike the ball down upon the Cimarron defense with continued success.

“It’s like I always say, if you play a lot of defense, you lose,” Cimarron coach Zack Romero said.

Wood notched 29 assists and Britain, Patterson and Fortner each had at least 10 kills as the Vixen crushed Cimarron 25-13, 25-8, 25-12 in the first round of the Class 1A A Regional.

“It’s like we’re not individuals. We’re one for all,” Wood said, crediting the Vixen backline with good feeds off the serve.
The Vixens clinch a spot in the Class 1A State Tournament and face the winner of Elida and Des Moines at 7 p.m. Saturday.

None of the games were ever in doubt. Fort Sumner coach Lisa McMath and Wood said the Vixens (16-2) were a little nervous at the beginning of the first game, when the two teams went back and forth on the first eight points. The Vixens then scored the next five and never looked back. They were up 15-4 in the second game and got to 15-10 in the third before Fort Sumner closed out the match with a 10-2 run.

The Lady Rams (11-9) had difficulty matching up with Fort Sumner’s jumping ability, leaving a lot of open kill tries or kill tries with only one blocker up front.

“We have one girl who can get over the net. That’s it,” Romero said.

The Lady Rams were successful when they had kill tries, but Romero estimated they were outhit by the Vixen by a two-to-one ratio. The Lady Rams trouble passing up to the setter off the Fort Sumner serve. Lady Ram junior Leslie Barmann had six kills, with Elizabeth Romero adding five.

Z. Romero said he still believed the Lady Rams were one of the best eight teams in the Class A.

“Unfortunately, we had to play of the best teams in the state in the first round of regionals,” he said.