Pool play upsets threw the 4A state volleyball bracket into chaos.
No. 1 Piedra Vista was the only top-four seed to make it through unscathed, defeating No. 9 Los Alamos 25-15, 25-18 and No. 8 Centennial 26-24, 25-19 to earn a bye into the quarterfinals.
Senior Katie Hegarty led the Lady Panthers with 26 kills in the two wins.
“I was really proud,” said PV head coach Ron Becker. “We dug a big hole against Centennial and were down by as many as four points, but fought back. It was an intense game, and they handled the pressure.”
The other top four seeds struggled with the pressure as No. 2 Albuquerque Academy, No. 3 Goddard and No. 4
St. Pius X all lost in group play.
Academy survived its first round match against No. 12 Espanola Valley 3-1, setting up a quarterfinal match today against PV at 9:45 a.m., in the Santa Ana Star Center.
“It's not what you want to see this early in the tournament,” Becker said. “That's the problem with the pool — upsets come up. It will be really interesting to see how it turns out with the seedings so out of whack. We pretty much ended up with the one, two and three seeds on the same side of the bracket.”
Becker won't have to worry about No. 3 Goddard, as the Rockets lost their first round match against Centennial.
Centennial will face No. 5 Artesia in the quarterfinals with the winner advancing to play the PV-Academy winner in the semifinals at 4:45 p.m.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 11 Farmington was eliminated with a 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-10) loss to Los Alamos in the first round.
“We played Los Alamos tough, especially in the second set, but just lost our steam after that,” said FHS head coach Dan Hickman.
The Lady Scorps lost their two matches in pool play to Goddard and Los Lunas earlier in the day.
Los Alamos will play No. 7 Roswell in quarterfinals. St. Pius X and Los Lunas match up in the quarterfinal matchup.
Shiprock and Bloomfield were eliminated in the first round of the 3A tournament.
The No. 6 Lady Chiefs had a disappointing tournament, losing their pool game to No. 3 Portales and splitting two sets against No. 11 Ruidoso.
Shiprock was then eliminated by No. 9 Lovington in four sets.
“We fizzled out in the third game,” said Shiprock head coach Rae Collins. “The girls were upset they didn’t make it past the first round, but they accomplished their goal of making it to state, and they played well as a team.”
The No. 12 Lady Bobcats were also knocked out without winning a match, falling to No. 4 Silver and No. 5 Santa Fe Indian in pool play, then losing to No. 10 Sandia Prep in four sets (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-18) to exit the tournament.
“We were feeling good after we got that first set, but some mental lapses cost us against Sandia,” said Bloomfield head coach Tami Bekes. “We had a good run for the season, but it’s disappointing for the girls to be done so early. Our six seniors played well, and this was a good experience for the younger girls. They all should be proud of what they’ve accomplished this year. They won the district (tournament) and no one can take that away from them.”
No. 4 Navajo Prep split its two pool play matches in the 2A tournament, beating No. 12 Cuba and losing to No. 5 Laguna-Acoma.
The Lady Eagles defeated No. 7 Cobre in straight sets (25-18, 25-22, 25-11) in their first round match to advance into the quarterfinals against No. 3 Santa Rosa today at 11:30 a.m.
“We were hoping that wouldn’t happen,” said Navajo Prep head coach Rainy Crisp on the pool-play loss. “But we fought back and got in a rhythm against Cobre. We have to start strong against Santa Rosa. We can’t give up easy points against them because every little point matters. We have to serve and pass better.”