Lopes Volleyball finishes 2-1 in SOCO Classic

The Lamar Community College Volleyball team returned 2-1 from the Southern Colorado Classic this weekend, boosting their overall record to 6-4

The Lopes got off to the hot start they were looking for but fell short of sweeping the weekend in Trinidad.

Lamar took down Texas schools Clarendon College (25-17, 25-15, 26-24) and Cisco College (25-19, 25-18, 25-13) on Friday before falling in four to Dodge City Community College (23-25, 25-23, 22-25, 26-28) on Saturday.

"It was kind of the reverse of our weekend at Barton County, where we didn't really turn it on until Day 2," Lamar head coach Dante Geoffrey said. "This weekend, we were in control all Friday before falling into some bad habits and emotional pitfalls on Saturday."

Friday's afternoon match against Cisco saw the Lopes at their best. Regardless of what their opponent did, the team in blue maintained its intensity and focus. It was the first match of the season in which Lamar widened the point-differential each set -- first winning by six, then seven, then 12.

The sweep was a complete team effort as eight Lopes scored kills, eight registered digs, five recorded blocks and three netted at least one ace.

Sophomore setter/opposite Star Hoskie had a team-high 19 assists, five digs and four kills. Freshman setter Emily Longnecker had 11 assists, two digs and an ace.

Sophomore libero Monea Ortiz led the Lopes with 16 digs and was second with three service aces.

Freshmen outside Anamarija Mikovic was the only Lope to score double-digit kills (11) and was third with seven digs. She also had two block assists.

Lena Srdanov (four), Kat Limongi (three), Taylor Almaguer (three) Michelle Batista (two), Jordan Graham (two) and Alex Riley (one) also found a way to put the ball down for Lamar.

Srdanov had a team-high four aces and was second with 11 digs. Batista had five digs while playing the middle and Almaguer got two blocks.

The tournament started with a sweep against Clarendon that got more challenging as the match went on.

The Lopes had just four hitting errors in the first two sets against the Bulldogs, but amassed five in the third set alone. Lamar missed four serve but scored five aces to finish with nine in the match.

Srdanov earned nine kills and no errors for a .409 hitting percentage. Mikovic led the team with 15 kills and a .323 hitting percentage. Graham followed with seven kills and a .250 hitting percentage. Hoskie (three), Batista (three), Almaguer (two) and Longnecker (two) also contributed to the attack.

Longnecker led the offense with 21 assists to go with five digs and an ace. Hoskie had 19 assists, seven digs and four aces.

Sarah Polanco served two aces and won the Lopes a team-high 12 points.

Saturday's match against the well-coached Conquistadors was a challenge the Lopes knew was coming.

Dodge City had beaten Lamar in a tight, four-set battle on August 26, and Saturday's match proved even tougher.

Each set was decided by three points or fewer, and the total score was 101-96 in favor of Dodge City.

Lamar scored 11 more kills than Dodge, but also hit 11 more errors and missed nine more serves.

"We really shot ourselves in the foot for a lot of that match," Geoffrey said. "For how close that match was, it's hard not to think what could have been if we could have avoided just some of those unforced errors."

Mikovic scored a double-double (16 kills, 11 digs) and Ortiz kept rallies alive with a game-high 26 digs.

Longnecker led the Lopes with 27 assists, three digs and three kills.

Hoskie approached a triple-double with 15 assists, eight kills and nine digs.

Srdanov had 13 kills and eight digs and Graham earned 13 kills and 2 digs.

Lamar's final match of the tournament against Adams State University JV was cancelled due to injuries on the Grizzly team.

The Lopes travel to Dodge City's tournament on Friday, September 15, for four matches in two days.

For more information about Lopes Volleyball, follow the team on Twitter, @LopesVolleyball, or Facebook at facebook.com/lopesvolleyball.