Talk about a player whose last name befit the occasion.
Santa Fe High senior outside hitter Salome Romp fired 24 kills at Manzano on Tuesday night as the sixth-ranked Demonettes swept the 10th-ranked Monarchs in a District 5-5A encounter at Manzano.
The scores were 25-17, 25-17, 25-22.
Santa Fe (11-2 overall, 3-0 in 5-5A) did not leave Manzano much room for error, as the Demonettes, with their diversity at net, a tenacious defense and the work of senior setter Courtny Brookover, prepped for a first-place showdown match Thursday night against city rival Capital, which was 2-0 in league play coming into Tuesday but was beaten in three sets by Sandia.
“I think our No. 1 thing is we’re just a super disciplined team,” second-year Demonettes head coach Josephine Adams said. “And there is just great senior leadership.”
Brookover was sensational, with 54 assists in the short match.
Santa Fe’s outside hitters – largely Romp – reaped the benefits, as did 6-foot-1 junior middle Jorja Chambers, who added 10 kills in the victory.
“It’s just so great, because everyone is so humble,” said the 5-9 Romp. “No matter what, we can help each other pull through.”
Santa Fe didn’t have to flex those particular muscles in this match against Manzano (7-4, 1-2).
After a relatively routine opening set, the Monarchs led 13-9 in the middle set, having settled into the match.
But the serving of junior Isabella Melton flipped the script for Santa Fe, which rattled off 10 straight points, including an ace from Melton, to go ahead 19-13. Junior right-side hitter Laila Bernardino supplied three kills during that spurt, and Manzano, clearly staggered, never could recover.
“I think all of us are really consistent,” said Chambers. “We know when to look for the block and where to hit.”
And while the Monarchs were competitive in the final set, Santa Fe’s big guns – and a steady supply of defense that kept the Demonettes in system with some terrific digs – kept Manzano from extending the match beyond a third set.
“We do an hour and a half of passing, five days a week,” Adams said, speaking about Santa Fe’s defensive prowess. “Everyone passes. We emphasize keeping … in system.”
Fittingly, it was Romp who delivered the clinching shot with a kill.
• In District 2-5A on Tuesday night, top-ranked La Cueva (11-1) swept Eldorado, 25-23, 25-21, 25-18.