Russell shines as Eldorado volleyball tops Rio Rancho - Albuquerque Journal

Russell shines as Eldorado volleyball tops Rio Rancho

Eldorado’s Sierra Serna, right, and teammate Leilani Martinez narrowly avoid a collision as they attempt a set during Thursday’s match against visiting Rio Rancho. The Eagles won in four sets. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Rio Rancho High’s volleyball team could not escape the right arm of Reese Russell on Thursday night.

The Eldorado sophomore was the best and most dynamic player on the floor, knocking down 16 kills and six aces as the seventh-ranked Eagles (5-2) rallied to beat the visiting Rams (5-4) in four sets in a rematch of the recent metro tournament’s third-place match.

Eldorado won Thursday, 21-25, 25-16, 25-13, 25-15. The Eagles swept the Rams at metros.

“I think we’re killing it,” said Russell. “I’m excited.”

Russell was influential in each of Eldorado’s three winning sets Thursday.

After an opening set that saw the Eagles have six service errors, Russell delivered three consecutive aces in set No. 2, part of a 6-0 run that left the Eagles in control.

An 8-0 run in the third set was largely spurred on by Russell, who had four kills in that run to turn a tentative 9-8 lead into a commanding 17-8 lead.

Eldorado also ended that third set by scoring the final seven points.

After Rio Rancho bolted to a 6-1 lead in the fourth set, it was Russell who helped steady the Eagles, with two kills and a block as Eldorado regained its footing and slowly overtook the Rams.

At 14-13 Eldorado, the Eagles scored five straight points on the strength of the serve of Haley King-Mead, who had two aces in that run that essentially put Rio Rancho away.

But it was Russell’s swinging that left the deepest impact, both at the net and from the service line. The Rams often just could not get away from her.

“She’s usually like that,” Eldorado coach Rob Pierce said of Russell. “I think she got more sets tonight than she usually does, but that’s all right, if she’s on fire like that, we need to keep feeding her the ball.”

Rio Rancho, ranked No. 5 in the latest 5A coaches’ poll, has been missing its starting setter, junior Ashleigh Meyer, who has been ill. Coach Toby Manzanares said she will probably be out at least another week.

But the Rams’ ups and downs were a little frustrating, as Rio Rancho surrendered seven Eldorado runs of at least five points.

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Manzanares said. “We’re as good as anybody when we’re on all cylinders, but we’re as bad as anybody (when we’re not). We have had to deal with this. We’re consistent for a while, then all of a sudden, one error leads to seven.”

Eldorado’s losses this season are to La Cueva in the metro semifinals and to Hope Christian.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Longtime APS athletic director Barreras steps aside
Featured Sports
Albuquerque Public Schools will be searching ... Albuquerque Public Schools will be searching for a new athletic director.Kenny Barrera ...
2
Prep volleyball: No. 1 Hope Christian beats defending state ...
Featured Sports
As the state tournament draws ever ... As the state tournament draws ever nearer, it's becoming more likely that the team everyone will be ...
3
In local Korn Ferry qualifier, stress falls upon middle ...
Featured Sports
When it comes to the qualifying ... When it comes to the qualifying school of the Korn Ferry Tour for professional golfers, Scott Harrin ...
4
Gonzales: It's time for Lobo offense to step up
College
During the past two weeks, the ... During the past two weeks, the University of New Mexico (2-5, 0-3 Mountain West) has scored two touc ...
5
United's playoff push to go on without Sandoval
Featured Sports
It's not the type of finish ... It's not the type of finish Devon Sandoval envisioned. Sandoval, an Albuquerque native and the recognized face of New Mexico United's franchise, took to ...
6
Playing future in doubt for United's Sandoval
Featured Sports
It's not the type of finish ... It's not the type of finish Devon Sandoval envisioned.Sandoval, an Albuquerque native ...
7
Aggies (1-6) mean business while in paradise to face ...
College
Disappointing as it may sound, the ... Disappointing as it may sound, the New Mexico State Aggies' football trip to Hawaii this week will be pretty much strictly business. NMSU (1-6) ...
8
Fathers know best -- or do they? 3 new ...
College
If you haven't heard, new Lobo ... If you haven't heard, new Lobo men's basketball coach Richard Pitino has a dad who also dabbles in c ...
9
New Mexico State hopes that realignment leads to opportunity
College
LAS CRUCES – New ... LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State's leadership finds itself in another college sports realignmen ...