AZTEC — Injuries couldn't hobble the Aztec volleyball team as the Lady Tigers bested Bloomfield 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 Tuesday night at Lillywhite Gym.
"It was good," Aztec head coach Anna Strauss said. "We lost Reigan (Weaver) because she rolled her ankle, so we had to tweak our lineup a little bit, but the girls played well. We didn't get rattled, and I think we passed well tonight."
Bloomfield (1-2) started out strong in first set, jumping to a 6-1 lead before allowing the Lady Tigers (3-1) to claw back to tie it at 8. The set went back and forth and was tied again at 18 before Aztec reeled off seven straight points to win the set.
The second set started the same as the first, with the Lady Bobcats taking an early 8-3 lead before Aztec got back into a rhythm to pulled out the close win.
"They have to realize that in the first and the second set, we were up, and we have to keep that momentum on our side in those key moments," BHS head coach Rae Collins said.
The Lady Bobcats again started strong, taking a 5-1 advantage on Aztec, but again the Lady Tigers responded and went on a 14-1 run to blow the set open.
The Lady Tigers worked their lead to 24-14, but Bloomfield showed resilience, battling back to keep the final gap modest at 25-21.
"It's good because it allows me to see their progression mentally," Bloomfield coach Rae Collins said. "We're trying to overcome those mental lapses. I keep telling them that a mistake is a mistake — it's over and done. They're slowing overcoming that, and seeing them fight back in the third game was very helpful."
At times during the match, Aztec's timing was off by a fraction, resulting in well set up kills ending with the Lady Tigers tipping the ball over the net rather than hitting it home.
"They just need more time. A little bit more experience and they'll figure that out," Strauss said. "Part of that is having confidence and being young. It's OK."
Bloomfield will have a tough task this weekend, spending Friday and Saturday in Farmington for Piedra Vista's tournament.
The Lady Tigers will get plenty of time on the court to work on their timing this weekend when they head south for the Roswell Tournament, which begins Friday.
"Now we're going to go to Roswell, and that's going to be a tough tournament. But it will be a good chance for us to get away and learn a few things about ourselves, and experience some of those southern teams and see what they've got."
Piedra Vista 3, Bayfield, Colo., 0
Piedra Vista (2-0) played a near-perfect match and swept Bayfield, Colo., (2-4) 25-12, 25-18, 25-9 Tuesday at Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.
"They played well, but the thing was they played really smart," PV head coach Ron Becker said. "You have to mix things around and do different things — you have to do more than hit the ball hard. A lot of girls stepped up tonight, and I'm proud of how they got the things done that we've been practicing on."
Becker said the Lady Panthers blocked very well and spread the ball around.
"When you get set on one or two hitters, you're pretty much going to get shut down because everyone knows who the ball is going to," Becker said. "I think our setters did a good job of passing the ball around."
PV will be back in action this weekend, when the team hosts its annual tournament Friday and Saturday.