Category Archives: Lady Colt Volleyball

Lady Colts drop season finale to Gateway

NMMI’s Mia Walker on the attack from the outside while Gateway’s Sarah Martin times her jump for the block attempt.

NMMI Sports Press

Bump pass by senior Abigail Valadez after a Gateway serve.

The Lady Colts opened up the ‘Cadets For A Cure’ campaign at NMMI by taking on local rival Gateway Christian, wrapping up their season in a tough three-set loss to the visiting Lady Warriors: 25-12, 25-13, 25-14.

“I am thankful for all the people that came out to support us during the first event of our Cancer Awareness Week,” said head NMMI coach Stephanie Schooley, “but it was not the outcome we were looking for.”

With the loss, the Lady Colts finish their season – which ends early due to not participating in NMAA District play – with a 7-8 overall record.

A member of the NMMI Corps of Cadets show his support for the three four-year seniors on the Lady Colt volleyball team.

“I am proud of the girls for everything they have done this season. They are a great group of girls and it has been an absolute pleasure to coach them,” said Schooley. “We’ll lose four seniors: Skylar Nunn who just came in this Fall, and three who have been with me for all four years: Abigail Valadez, Grace Tompkins, and Alyssa Bolander. We’re really going to miss them.”

The Institute cadets will launch their second event in the week-long Cancer Awareness campaign with the Colt Football team taking on the Ruidoso Warriors in a District 4-4A match up beginning at 7:00 PM at NMMI’s Colt Field.

An attempt to save an errant pass goes just over the outstretched fingers of Lady Colt senior Alyssa Bolander.

Lady Colts fall to Mescalero in five

Demitra Ulibarri with the kill.

NMMI Sports Press

Back row kill attempt by Abigail Valadez.

In their second-to-last match of the season, the Lady Colt volleyball team lost a fantastic five-set duel to visiting Mescalero Apache: 25-19, 23-25, 25-11, 23-25, 15-12.

NMMI trailed early in the initial set, allowing the Lady Chiefs to take the first six points. But despite being down twice by as much as 10, the Lady Colts fought back to make it a very close set.

The second set was even closer. NMMI broke out to an early 5-2 lead,  allowed Mescalero to tie it up at 11s, then went on five and four-point runs to make it 20-13. The last five point were hard to get, however, as the Lady Chiefs scrambled back, getting as close as 24-23 before hitting an attack into the net to give NMMI the second set.

Attack at the net by Rilan Maloney.

“Game 3 was harsh – we did not play well,” said NMMI head coach Stephanie Schooley. “ We had a lot of errors and did not play as a team. But we came back after that third set, won a tough battle in the fourth set, then played to within three points in game five.”

That fourth set was another hard-fought battle, with freshman Rilan Maloney earning the final set point and the win on a kill from the right side.

In the final fifth set, NMMI held a 9-6 lead, but tough Lady Chief serves and attacks saw that edge slip, 11-9, in favor of Mescalero. A kill by Lady Colt Abigail Valadez made it 11-10; Mia Walker knocked down another NMMI attack to make it 12-11; but that was a close at the Lady Colts would get.

The Lady Colts celebrate after a service ace.

“I am so proud of how hard the girls played tonight,” continued coach Schooley. “They really fought all the way until the end. I’m definitely proud of my seniors. We have three seniors who have been with me for four years: Alyssa Bolander, Grace Tompkins and Abby Valadez. They gave it their all. But I don’t want to just focus on a few players, because I feel like it took everyone out there on the floor tonight. I told the girls to hold their heads high – we played some amazing team volleyball, especially in those last two sets.”

With the loss, NMMI’s record moves back to even-steven, 7-7, with one game left on the schedule.

“We have Gateway tomorrow,” said Schooley. “There’s no rest for us, but I hope we can carry the momentum from tonight into our match tomorrow. Gateway’s a very good team and we’re going to have to keep playing at a high level if we want to close out the season with a win.”

That match versus Gateway will be held at NMMI’s Cahoon Armory gym beginning at 6:30 PM. It will be a special “Pink Out” night in celebration of NMMI’s Cancer Awareness Week, with special activities planned before, during, and after the match.

Lady Colts win second straight home match

Alyssa Bolander gets down low for a dig.

NMMI Sports Press

Mia Walker goes up for a kill attempt versus Vaughn.

The Lady Colt volleyball team won their second straight match at home, winning straight sets versus the visiting Vaughn Eagles: 25-13, 25-18, 25-23.

Set one was a back-and-forth affair with neither team able to take more than a one-point lead until senior Grace Tompkins’ second trip to the service line. With her squad down 12-11, she served up seven straight points to give the Lady Colts a commanding late lead. Two side-outs later, freshman Riley Maloney closed out the set with five points during her own service run.

In set two, NMMI broke out to an early 3-0 lead, found themselves trailing 13-11 midway, then slowly pulled away at the tail end, thanks in part to timely kills by Mia Walker and Abigail Valadez – both had 4 kills in the second set and led the Lady Colts with six kills each in the match.

Grace Tompkins attack attempt.

The Institute survived a late Vaughn rally in the third set. A 24-19 lead quickly closed to 24-23 after a string of solid Lady Eagle serves, combined with mis-hits and miscommunication by the Lady Colts. NMMI closed out the set and the match on a kill by junior setter Dee Ulibarri.

“I was glad that the girls were able to pull it out in three sets,” said head coach Stephanie Schooley. “ It got a little close there in game three – I was a little concerned – but they were able to finish it.”0

Coach Schooley continued, talking about some of the positive and not-so-positive things she saw out of the court.

Demitra Ulibarri sets one of her outside hitters.

“We’re starting to get a little more self-confidence and we’re also talking better,” she said, “but I still feel like we have yet to play as a team for an entire match. We have good moments and then we have really, really sloppy moments. I also feel like we are standing around too much on the floor – we’ve got to be active participants the entire time the ball is in play.”

She continued with an analysis of two of the most important aspects of high school volleyball – attacks and serves.

“We had some good swings,” she said. “We’ve been working hard in practice, trying to place the ball into a hole rather than just swinging as hard as we can. We did do better at that.

Abigail Valadez with the kill attempt.

“As far as serves, we did have a few aces and a few good strong serves, but I still think we are missing way too many, especially ones straight into the net; let’s get the ball over and in, and let the other team make the mistake.”

With the win, NMMI moves to 4-4 on the season while Vaughn drops to 3-2.

The Lady Colt varsity team will be back in action on Monday with a match in Lake Arthur vs. the Lady Panthers at 5 pm, then both the varsity and JV squads will head to Loving on Tuesday play the Lady Falcons – start times at 5 & 6 pm.

Lady Colts win in three sets over Lake Arthur

NMMI freshman Rachel Dynes with the kill attempt.

Casey Day steps in front of teammate Skylar Nunn to return a Panther serve.

NMMI Sports Press

NMMI’s Lady Colt volleyball team drew one step closer to evening up their overall season record, downing the visiting Lake Arthur Panthers in three straight sets.

It was the first win on their home court for the Institute, after dropping matches at NMMI’s Godfrey Athletic Center to both Hondo and Loving the previous week.

The Lady Colts rallied to overcome a slow start in Game 1, taking the set 25-19, then coasted through the next two sets, 25-8 and 25-10.

Senior Skylar Nunn with the serve.

Head NMMI coach Stephanie Schooley voiced her concern about their level of play at match start, but was pleased to see her players step up as play progressed.

“We didn’t start out the match with much intensity,” said Schooley. “We can’t spot points before we start playing, but I’m proud of the girls for finishing strong and supporting each other. I do see some improvements in the girls and feel like their confidence is getting better. We’re playing a little bit smarter.”

With the somewhat lop-sided win, coach Schooley was able to get some extended playing time from her bench.

“We were able to get all of subs into the game and get them some experience,” she said. “And when my starters came out, they were very encouraging to our subs that went in, talking them through the rotation. It was just a good team effort tonight.”

Block by Lady Colt sophomore Ijeoma Uwazie.

With the win, the Lady Colts head into this weekend’s Gateway Christian Warrior Invitational with a 2-3 record. Pool play begins Friday morning to determine seeding for Saturday’s bracket.

“It’s a great tournament – always well run – and we enjoy playing in it every year,” Schooley said. “A lot of the teams that we played last year were very competitive – we can’t let up at all in this tournament.”

Lady Colts drop home opener to Hondo

Outside attack by NMMI’s Alyssa Bolander, during the first set vs. Hondo. NMMI photo by Laura Brown

NMMI Sports Press

Battle at the net between NMMI’s Mia Walker and Hondo’s Joyce Anne Cooper. NMMI photo by Laura Brown

Back-to-back matches between the Hondo Lady Eagles and the NMMI Lady Colts resulted in a series split, with both teams earning victories on their opposition’s home court.

The Lady Colts won the first road trip, downing Hondo in five sets last Tuesday: 22-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-21, 15-13.

This week at NMMI’s Godfrey Athletic Center the Lady Eagles got revenge, soaring past NMMI in four sets.

“I felt like Hondo did a good job and they worked hard – I’ve got to give them credit,” said head coach Stephanie Schooley. “But I felt like we also beat ourselves. We just really struggled. Our intensity was down; we were down on ourselves; we let one mistake turn into six – you just can’t do that and still come a winner.”

Demitra Ulibarri goes up for the kill in the first set. NMMI photo by Laura Brown

The Lady Colts took the first set in a hard-fought battle that went into extended play, 27-25. But after that it was three straight sets for Hondo: 25-20, 25-17, 25-17.

“We have to keep our same intensity level and play like we know how for an entire match. We can’t be a one game team,” explained Schooley. “When we played Hondo in Hondo, we really had to fight to get back into that match and get to game five. We need to minimize our errors — that’s going to help a lot — just so many mistakes. When we were up in Hondo we missed 19 serves, but here at home, it was missed serves, serve-receive errors, not moving our feet on defense, being out of rotation, miscommunication in a lot of areas. We need to trust ourselves and trust each other.”

Backset by frosh setter Rilan Maloney. NMMI photo by Laura Brown

With the loss, the Lady Colts fall to 1-2 on the young season, with another home match coming up next, against Loving next Tuesday.

“We do have a couple of days to practice. Hopefully we can put some of those practices to good use, because Loving is always a tough team,” finished Schooley.

Start time for the varsity match verses the Lady Falcons is set for 6 p.m., with the JV squads taking the court prior at 4 p.m.


Bump pass off the Hondo serve by Lady Colt Abigail Valadez. NMMI photo by Laura Brown