Cougars impressive in sweep - Albuquerque Journal

Cougars impressive in sweep

Clibola’s Abigail Carlsen, left, tips the ball over the net as Cleveland’s Sophia Maurer (13), Lylah Moreno (15) and Sophia Bacahui (3) defend. The Cougars beat the Storm in straight sets on Tuesday in a District 1-5A match.
Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal

It sounded a little odd to Christina Norton as she spoke the words.

“Holy crap,” the Cibola High School volleyball coach said, perking up. “We’re 13-1.”

Her Cougars, the Albuquerque metro champions, won their District 1-5A opener on Tuesday night, as their array of offensive weapons led to a three-game sweep of visiting Cleveland.

The scores were 25-19, 25-22, 25-17.

Cibola’s hitting, tipping and serving were assets throughout as the fourth-ranked Cougars (by handled the fifth-ranked Storm (12-4).

“All of us, we’re so versatile,” said senior opposite/setter Abigail Carlsen, who had a team-high 13 kills in the victory. “A lot of us can play many different positions. We can always switch up our hitters, and we know our offense and our defense will be successful with any rotation, any hitter.”

Carlsen was the best player on the floor. She was effective at net with both kills and tips, and she tossed in one ace in each of the three sets.

Sophomore Janessa Leyba added nine kills, senior opposite Logan Smith had seven kills and freshman hitter Jasmine Martinez delivered half a dozen kills. And sophomore hitter Jennifer Lopez provided one of the great highlight swings of the match, as she came flying in from the back row for a huge kill in the third set.

Diverse and skilled was how Norton described her roster.

Cibola’s hitting angles, and their regular diet of tipping to get over Cleveland’s blocks, had the Storm struggling to get into its offense.

“It’s hard to read what we do on our side of the court for offense,” sophomore libero Makayla Martinez said. “It’s hard to defend our team, because everyone can do anything.”

A short burst of solid serves by Carlsen in the middle of the first set, including her first ace, gave Cibola some slight separation. Smith closed out the set with two kills and a tip.

The serving of Lopez, and two kills and a block at net from 6-foot sophomore Ella Parker, were pivotal in the middle set during an 8-0 run that allowed the Cougars to rally from a 15-12 deficit.

Lopez fired two aces in this run, including a bullet for an 18-15 edge.

The second set ended with Kayla Ison’s well-placed tip winner.

Cibola in the final set scored eight of the first 10 points, and a 6-0 run later in the set — highlighted by two kills from Jasmine Martinez and a pair of aces from Sofia Jurado — ended any remaining suspense. Fittingly, a tip by Carlsen ended the match.

The other 1-5A opener Tuesday night had Rio Rancho beating Atrisco Heritage in three sets.

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

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop


With playoff berth in reach, United draws a blank
Featured Sports
Desperation was not on New Mexico ... Desperation was not on New Mexico United's side Saturday night.Rio Grande Valley FC pl ...
Prep soccer roundup: Atrisco boys gets big win as ...
Boys' Soccer
The final day of prep soccer's ... The final day of prep soccer's regular season generated a crowd atop the boys standings in District ...
Yodice: Final week of prep football has major implications
Featured Sports
The final furlong has arrived.Next Saturday, ... The final furlong has arrived.Next Saturday, the 11-Man football playoff brackets get ...
Chavez's return, gritty defense spark Lobos' upset win at ...
Whenever the University of New Mexico ... Whenever the University of New Mexico is going through a losing streak, the Lobos might be smart to go to Isaiah Chavez, their gritty ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Gonzales: It's time for Lobo offense to step up
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 ...
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 ...