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Piedra Vista Lady Panthers McKenna Culp (15) and Nianna Alcon (7) celebrate after scoring a point in the third set against the Lady Scorpions during Tuesday night s game at Farmington High School.
FARMINGTON — The No. 1 Piedra Vista volleyball team can cross one goal off its to-do list for the season.
The Lady Panthers clinched the regular season district title with a straight-sets win over No. 12 Farmington (25-12, 25-14, 25-21) on Tuesday.
"It's the first step," said PV head coach Ron Becker. "It means we host the district tournament championship and are locked into the state tournament, which is a nice, comfortable feeling."
Senior Katie Hegarty led the way for the Lady Panthers (18-1 overall, 5-0 District 1-4A) with 16 kills.
"Every single game is a challenge and a struggle," Hegarty said. "Obviously, we have big dreams, but we have to take care of business locally first."
PV spread out its attack with McKenna Culp recording 12 kills, Olivia Johnson adding eight kills and Sam Sofka contributing seven kills to keep the Lady Scorps defense off-balance.
"The reason we execute so well and can get several people near double digits is because our setter moves the ball around great," Hegarty said. "Our hitters are all pulling for each other. We run our plays. We execute very well. It's nice that it's paying off, and we have a seamless offense. It shows nicely, and I'm really proud of our offense this year."
The Lady Panthers cruised to an early 2-0 lead, but Farmington (11-8, 3-2) fought back in the third set taking an 11-7 lead before PV was able to claw back and finish on top.
Mental mistakes cost the Lady Panthers in the final set, and Becker wants to see them corrected before the playoffs.
"We weren't as crisp as I'd have liked in that third set," he said.  "The first two, we were clean and passing the ball really well. The third one, we made some errors and gave away points for free. That's what I've been preaching — if they get points, they need to earn them. I was happy to see them play through it and come out with the win."
Farmington head coach Dan Hickman said the effort from his team was good as the Lady Scorps continue a push for one of the final state playoff spots.
"The girls came out and played hard," Hickman said. "We were trying to steal one set and hoped to get that one, but we didn't. They are a tough team though — well coached and are a state champion quality team. We need to take Kirtland and get the No. 2 seed, and hopefully, we can get a seed into state."
Both teams will close out their regular seasons on Thursday. Farmington travels to Kirtland Central, while PV hosts Aztec.


Kirtland Central downs Aztec

The Kirtland Central volleyball team defeated Aztec in four sets (25-21, 25-13, 19-25, 25-19) Tuesday night in Aztec.
It was a good match for us," said Lady Broncos head coach Brian Joe. "Our serving was tough, and we played good defense. We fell apart a bit in the third game and dug ourselves a hole."
Keeshawna Ockerman and Marley Max led Kirtland with nine kills each. Hannah Washburn added seven kills.
With its second win over the Lady Tigers, the Lady Broncos move to 8-11 overall and 2-3 within the district.
Aztec drops to 6-13 and 0-5.

Navajo Prep inches toward No. 1 seed in district

Navajo Prep won in straight sets against Tohatchi (25-12, 25-9, 25-16) on Tuesday night in Farmington.
The Lady Eagles moves to 11-2 in district play with the win.
Navajo Prep came into the match in a first-place tie with Rehoboth, and head coach Rainy Crisp wants her team focused on earning the top seed.
“In order to be in first, we had to win in three games,” Crisp said. “We came out and started well and didn’t let up.”
Danielle Coleman had 18 digs for the Lady Eagles in the win.
Navajo Prep closes out its regular season schedule Thursday at Zuni.