Farmington opened District 1-5A play against Gallup Tuesday at Scorpion Arena. Matt Hollinshead / The Daily Times
Farmington emphasizing keeping its foot on the gas
FARMINGTON — The Farmington volleyball team aims to dash any hopes its foes may have of trying to keep up with the Lady Scorpions in matches.
Farmington has stressed gaining and maintaining control in key moments, which has lead to its current surge.
“I’m pretty stoked for these girls and to see everything finally clicking,” coach Alana Rowland said.
The team's roll began during the Piedra Vista Invitational tournament title match against in-town rival PV on Sept. 9.
The Lady Scorpions jumped on the Lady Panthers during the second and third sets via service aces and key points at the net. PV cut it close in the fourth set, slashing the deficit to within several points. But Farmington held on to take the fourth set and win that tournament on the strength of more points up front.
“Whenever we are behind, we try to just stay locked into one point, and then hopefully we get that point inside out and keep going from there,” senior right side hitter Donna Hall said. “We definitely try to keep the other team off speed. We try to keep a lead for as long as we can.”
Even during the Santa Fe Invitational on Sept. 16, as well as Tuesday’s District 1-5A victory over Gallup, FHS continued to focus on not letting up when matches got tight.
“We need to lock down mentally and be able to push through. Once we hit 18, 19 points, don’t let up,” Rowland said. “Earlier in the season, we were kind of a roller coaster. We let off and let (opponents) come back in, take the lead and lose the game.”
Rowland said she’s implemented more pressure situation-type drills in practice to help simulate not letting opponents go on big runs.
Farmington is applying frequent pressure, smashing the ball down at the net, getting some big stops at the net and limiting how often the ball touches its end of the floor.
“I think it would be cool for us to start running some quicker (plays), move faster with the ball with our sets. I love the fact that we’re being aggressive and diving for every ball, being scrappier than we normally (are),” junior outside hitter Alyssa Simmons said.
Although Farmington is also doing damage with counterattacks, Hall said she’d like to see the Scorpions move the ball a bit faster going on the attack.
Farmington (8-3, 1-0) will resume district play at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Kirtland Central.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.