By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor
The Floyd Lady Broncos left Melrose seeing shades of gray and white Wednesday in the second round of the District 3-1A volleyball tournament, thanks to the play of junior Rachel White and sophomore Kelsi Gray.
Floyd defeated the Lady Buffs 25-8, 25-20, 25-17. The third-seeded Lady Broncos travel to second-seeded Fort Sumner tonight for the semifinal round.
Tonight’s winner advances Saturday’s 2 p.m. championship match at top-seeded and unbeaten Elida.
Second-year Floyd coach Tandee Delk said both teams had starters absent on Wednesday. Melrose was missing Zanessa Dodd and Laney Widner to an out-of-town FFA event, while Floyd was missing junior Brooke Reed because of a car accident shortly before the game.
Reed was expected to be OK, according to Delk, but was spending the night in the hospital.
“Both teams were a little leary of how it would come out (with players missing),” Delk said.
After easily cruising through the first game, Floyd (11-10) had its hands full in the second and third games. After going up 14-6 in the second game, the Lady Broncos began to lose its momentum.
Melrose senior Lauren Widner served her team to within four points at 18-14, then freshman Kelley Wagley tied the game at 20-20.
After a long rally, Floyd broke the tie and regained the serve. White reeled off four straight service points to secure the second game for the Lady Broncos.
Melrose didn’t roll over in the third game and quickly grabbed a 8-5 lead. Gray then served for three straight points to put Floyd back in the lead 11-9.
Melrose stayed in the hunt for a while before a kill by Gray, making it 21-15, spelled the beginning of the end of the Lady Buffs’ season.
Senior Alisha Wagley got in one more kill for Melrose before Floyd’s Coren Followill served her side home with two straight aces to end the match.
“We just didn’t come out to play tonight,” Wagley said. “We were a little shaken up by the way they play. Their defense is pretty scary. We just didn’t get it going fast enough.”
Delk said the two teams had gone back-and-forth all season with Melrose beating Floyd earlier at the Lady Buffs’ tournament.
“We came out ready to play and stayed focused,” Delk said. “They didn’t just go through the motions — they wanted this.”
Floyd senior Christina Tenorio was pleased that the volleyball season would continue for her.
“We worked as a team and had one goal in mind,” Tenorio said. “We’re going out there and giving it all we’ve got (tonight).
Melrose coach Sonja Moyer was visibly dejected after the game, but quickly found some positives.
“I feel pretty good about our season,” Moyer said. “We’ve made some long strides. This is a first-year program for us. I guess I could say for a first-year program, we had pretty good success.”