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FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista volleyball team started the weekend strong, but struggled Saturday to finish eighth at Rio Rancho and Cleveland High's VolleyBash Tournament this weekend in Rio Rancho.

"We did really well in pool play and finished third in our pool," PV head coach Ron Becker said. "We were one win away from making the Championship bracket."

PV's regular setter Kamryn Gordon missed Saturday's action to attend a funeral. Becker said junior varsity setter Meagan Ellis stepped into the varsity role and played well for the Lady Panthers.

"I'm really proud of (Ellis) who stepped up for us," Becker said. "She played well, but when you don't have the reps playing with the girls, it's tough."

While the tournament didn't go as well as Becker had hoped, he said it was a good experience because the team was able to see some of the top competition in the state, and it can be used as a measuring stick as PV tries to make another deep run at the state tournament.

Autumn Begay received all-tournament honors for the Lady Panthers.

PV will open play in District 1-5A on Tuesday when the Lady Panthers host Aztec.

Becker said the team will focus on becoming more consistent asit moves through its district schedule.

"When we're playing our best, we play really well. We don't have a middle ground. We're either at the top of our game or at the bottom," Becker said.

FHS wins bracket in Rio Rancho

After a slow start in pool play Friday, Farmington got things going Saturday and won the Ribbon bracket at the VolleyBash tournament.

Farmington finished seventh in pool play to land in that bracket. In Saturday's first match, the Lady Scorps battled Hope Christian through five sets to get the win 25-20, 21-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-13.

"My girls showed a lot of fight and heart," Hickman said of the Hope match. "They learned how to finish."

The win over the Lady Huskies put Farmington in the finals against Gadsden.

The Lady Scorps picked up the win in straight sets 25-23, 26-24, 25-22, but had to come from behind in each set to get the win.

Hickman said the Lady Scorps struggled to maintain a led when they held one, but did a great job to rally back and overcome their mistakes to get the win.

Farmington will face Piedra Vista at PV on Thursday.

Shiprock splits at Sandia Prep tourney

Overall, the Shiprock girls volleyball team had a strong showing at Sandia Prep in Albuquerque this weekend for a two-day tournament.

After taking third out of four teams in their pool Friday afternoon, the Lady Chieftains slipped up by losing 3-2 to Robertson later in the day on Friday.

The loss was especially tough for coach Teri Atcitty and her players because Shiprock lost the fifth and decisive set by only two points.

"That was a really close one," Atcitty said. "It was just one of those back-and-forth battles, but we pretty much got our minds together for the Socorro game."

Shiprock returned to action on Saturday, and the team bounced back nicely from Friday's loss to top Socorro in four sets.

"Chamika Begaye, Kylie McKinley and Alyssa Harvey were my power hitters," Atcitty said. "They did a good job for us."

Shelbie Little, the team's starting setter, also performed at a high level for Shiprock. Atcitty called her "the leader of the team for the whole tournament."

Next up for the Lady Chieftains will be a 4 p.m. road match against Thoreau on Tuesday.

Sports reporter Jake Newby contributed to this story.

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

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