Shiprock tops Farmington in slugfest

Karl Schneider The Daily Times
The Daily Times

SHIPROCK — The Shiprock and Farmington volleyball teams went to battle for five sets Thursday night, and in the end, the Lady Chieftains held off a late rally from the Lady Scorpions to pick up the win 18-25, 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 15-12 at the Chieftain Pit.

"(The girls) stayed positive," Shiprock head coach Teri Atcitty said. "They turned from the mindset of, 'OK, we're down, now let's get back up.'"

The first set was tight most of the way through, as neither side could seem to steal more than a few points off the opposition at a time.

With the match knotted at 15, the Lady Scorps (0-2) managed a 6-0 run to take the first momentum swing. Following a Shiprock timeout with the score at 21-15, the Lady Chieftains (2-0) were more aggressive and appeared to be finding a rhythm. But with FHS only needing four points to take the set, the hole was too deep, and the visitors claimed the win.

Just like the first set, the two teams went back and forth in the second set. With the score tied at 18, it was Shiprock's turn to put together a run, and the Lady Chieftains outscored FHS 7-1 to take the set.

"We have a young team," FHS head coach Dan Hickman said. "We made some errors on some little things, but I think it's just our youth coming out."

After Farmington took a 19-18 lead in the third, Shiprock called a timeout to regroup. Out of the break, Shiprock outscored the Lady Scorps 7-1 again, punctuated by devastating back-to-back kills from Tanisha Begay to lock up the third-set win.

In the fourth set, tied at 15, Farmington took the momentum back. The Lady Scorps came up with key blocks to stifle Shiprock and pick up the close win, sending the match to a decisive fifth set.

The fifth set was no different than the previous four. Every time one side looked to have control, the other would counter. Shiprock held an 11-7 advantage and all the momentum, but after an FHS timeout, the Lady Scorps reeled off four straight points to tie the set and force Shiprock to call its own timeout.

The timeout was just what Shiprock needed, and the Lady Chieftains took control to end the match.

FHS and Shiprock will both return to action today.

FHS heads to Monticello, Utah, to take on the Lady Buckaroos (6-4), while Shiprock opens pool play at the Piedra Vista Classic against St. Pius X (1-1).

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648 and Follow him @karltschneider on Twitter.