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Kirtland Central s Tia Curley (18) and Georgia Willie (21) attempt to block a ball from Shiprock s Olivia Whitehorse.
After dominating the first set, the Shiprock High volleyball team pulled out a three-set win against Kirtland Central.
The No. 7-ranked 3A Lady Chiefs (7-3) won the match 25-11, 25-2 and 25-23 over the 4A Lady Broncos (7-8) on Tuesday in the rivalry game at Bronco Arena in Kirtland.
Shiprock head coach Rae Collins said the team still has some work to do despite the straight-sets win.
“We’re pretty good and have been improving in practice,” Collins said. “We just need to work on being more vocal. There were a couple of miscues because the girls weren’t talking and gave away a few points.”
After losing the first set, Kirtland lost focus and struggled in the match, said Lady Broncos head coach Brian Joe.
“They were hyped up and ready to play,” Joe said of Shiprock. “They got up on us quickly. After the first set, we were more aggressive — talking and moving — but sometimes our confidence just slips.”
Joe thought the match was one his team should have been able to win.
“Our serving was tough, and I think overall we played well,” he said. “But we have a lot of room to improve. It’s one of those losses where we can do better, and I know we could win. But Shiprock does have a good team, and we have to give it up to them tonight.”
Olivia Whitehorse led the Lady Chiefs with seven kills.
Collins was impressed with her squad’s teamwork throughout the match.
“We did well moving the ball and kept Kirtland off balance,” she said.
Shiprock will play against 4A No. 1 Piedra Vista on Thursday in Farmington.
Kirltand’s next match will be a rematch against the Lady Chiefs on Tuesday in Shiprock.

Piedra Vista 3, Bloomfield 0
The No. 1 Piedra Vista Lady Panthers looked comfortable playing at home for the first time in 2012.
PV did host one tournament, but Tuesday night was the team’s first chance to play at home with only one match to focus on.
The Lady Panthers had no problem with Bloomfield, beating the Lady Bobcats in three games (25-7, 25-12 and 26-24).
“It was pretty good. The third game was closer than I would like, but I put some substitutes in during the third and they grinded it out,” said PV head coach Ron Becker. “It was nice to play that home game. We only have five or six of them all year and we play three of them this week.”
Katie Hegarty led PV with 10 kills. McKenna Culp added nine more while Olivia Johnson had six and Sam Sofka had five.
Setter Vanessa Harris had 20 assists in the first two games.
PV will play at home again Thursday night when the Lady Panthers host another 3A team, Shiprock.
“That will be a good opportunity for us again at home to work on things before district,” Becker said.

Newcomb 3, Navajo Prep 2
The No. 5-ranked Navajo Prep Lady Eagles were upset at home Tuesday night.
District 1-2A foe Newcomb went into the Eagle’s Nest and dominated the game early, taking the first two games in convincing fashion, 25-10 and 25-19.
Navajo Prep battled back to win the third and fourth games 25-23 and 25-11, but in the fifth and final set it was Newcomb winning 15-9.
“Newcomb is a very scrappy team. They dug everything and everything was going right for them,” said Lady Eagles head coach Rainy Crisp. “At the same time, we did little stuff to hurt ourselves.”
The Lady Eagles need to do a better job of controlling the things they can control and not getting rattled by small mistakes, Crisp said.
Navajo Prep hits the road Thursday to face Tohatchi.