FARMINGTON — Piedra Vista defeated Farmington for the fourth time this season on Tuesday night.
The No. 2 Piedra Vista Lady Panthers needed just three sets to defeat the No. 4 Farmington Lady Scorpions 25-14, 25-14 and 26-24. PV moved to 5-0 in District 1-4A games, giving the Lady Panthers the No. 1 seed going into the district tournament next week.
"It was a great thing for us because now we get to host the district tournament which means we go to state no matter what," said PV head coach Ron Becker. "That is a big stress reliever."
Farmington (13-5 overall, 3-2 District 1-4A) led the first game 5-1 early, but the Lady Panthers (17-2, 5-0) rallied quickly and won 24 of the next 33 points to take the set. PV cruised in the second set without being tested.
"I feel like we ran our offense extremely well," said PV senior hitter Samantha Sofka, who had a game-high 14 kills. "We moved the ball around and did everything quick. That is what really got them. Their blocks couldn't get up as fast as we were hitting."
Farmington played stronger in the third set and led 21-17 before PV once again rallied. A block by Autumn Begay, an ace by Ramsey Baker and two kills by Brittney Hutchison helped PV tie the set 21-21 before the Lady Panthers eventually won 26-24.
"We have dug ourselves holes a lot this season, which we shouldn't do. To come back out of them shows how much heart we have," Sofka said.
Hutchison finished the game with nine kills for PV. Vanessa Harris led the Lady Panthers with 27 assists. Becker was also impressed with his team's serving, especially from Kacey Varnell.
Sarah Long led the Lady Scorpions with eight kills and 14 digs. Ashley Schultz had 23 assists for FHS.
"We couldn't get the passes going to allow us to play our system. That comes down to not being technically good with our passes," said FHS head coach Dan Hickman. "Hats off to PV. They played a great match and were more than ready for us. They wanted to prove a point."
Hickman called PV the better team, but hopes his team can still find a way to win against PV this year after four of Farmington's five losses have come to PV.
"The technical side of the game and our emotions will all have to come together. It will be up to the girls to decide if we beat PV this year," Hickman said.
Becker believes if his team plays the way it did Tuesday, the Lady Panthers can reach their goal of getting back to the state championship match.
"The girls played almost as perfect as you can play. If we keep doing that, we will be very successful," he said.
Aztec 3, Kirtland Central 0
The Aztec Lady Tigers picked up their second district win on Tuesday night.
Aztec (12-6, 2-3 District 1-4A) defeated the Kirtland Central Lady Broncos 25-19, 25-25 and 25-13 to win in straight sets at Bronco Arena in Kirtland.
"The girls played really well. They served well, and we were really smart hitting the ball and mixing it up a lot," said Aztec head coach Ann Strauss.
Strauss was also impressed with her front line at the net blocking Kirtland Central hits on Tuesday. She also credited Cory Zuniga for flying around the floor to come up with digs.
Aztec will play at home on Thursday against Piedra Vista while Kirtland Central (7-10, 0-5) will travel to Farmington.
"The girls are motivated," Strauss said of the PV game. "It is always a good game when we play each other. Getting to play them at home is exciting, and we hope to put a complete match together."John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.