Panthers bounce back to top Aztec

Kirtland Central and Shiprock pick up sweeps on the road, Bloomfield can't overcome Wingate

Karl Schneider, and Jake Newby
Farmington Daily Times
Piedra Vista's Autumn Begay tips the ball over the net on Thursday during a match against Aztec at Lillywhite Gym.

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista volleyball team bounced back from a loss in the first set to dominate rival Aztec in the next three sets for a 22-25, 25-12, 25-13, 25-9 victory Thursday evening at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.

“We just didn't show up the first game,” PV head coach Ron Becker said. “Once we adjusted and changed it around, we started playing better. The girls really stepped up and did a good job of turning it around.”

Slow starts have been an issue for the Lady Panthers (12-4, 5-0 District 1-5A) throughout the season. Becker said he thinks part of the issue behind the team’s lackluster starts is that it doesn’t feel a sense of urgency to put teams away until it falls behind.

Aztec head coach Anna Strauss said she thought the Lady Tigers (3-12, 0-5) played much better than the scores reflect.

“We took it out of them the first game. We served really tough that first game, and it took them out of their system a little bit,” Strauss said.

Autumn Begay led the PV attack with 14 kills. Bebe Jaquez and Courtney Moore each added 11 kills in the win.

Piedra Vista players celebrate after defeating Aztec on Thursday at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.

Aztec and PV will both be playing at the Española Valley Invitational on Saturday.

Both Becker and Strauss said they want to see their teams play with a high level of intensity once they step on the court Saturday.

Shiprock was head and shoulders better than host Thoreau Thursday night, winning the match 3-0.

Shiprock 3, Thoreau 0 

Shiprock played much better than Thoreau on Thursday night, and the result was a 3-0 sweep for the visitors.

The Lady Chieftains (9-5, 3-1 District 1-4A) got a lot of kills from their middle hitters, and it helped them cruise past the Lady Hawks 25-11, 25-2 and 25-9.

A balanced team effort guided Shiprock past its district opponent, coach Teri Atcitty said.

“They pretty much worked as a team from start to finish,” Atcitty said. “They communicated really well.”

It’s a home-and-home series between Shiprock and Thoreau (2-12, 0-5), as the same teams meet tonight, this time in Shiprock. Atcitty said she hopes to see the same all-around team effort she saw Thursday.

“We just have to keep working through our plays and working as a team, and we’ll be OK,” Atcitty said.

Kirtland Central 3, Zuni 0 

Undermanned and coming in on the heels of two straight losses, Kirtland Central was able to pick up a much-needed win versus Zuni on the road Thursday.

The Lady Broncos (9-5, 4-2) downed Zuni (3-11, 1-4) in straight sets to win the match 3-1. They won by scores of 25-16, 25-16 and 25-11.

KC was without three starters for the second straight game, but got a lot of contributions from junior varsity players who were recently called up.

“I really think this was a confidence booster for our JV girls, to come up and be a part of a winning effort like this,” coach Nadia Watson said. “I think wins like tonight are going to help our young girls in the long run.”

The Lady Broncos should be back to full strength by Tuesday when they play Thoreau at home.

Wingate 3, Bloomfield 1 

The Lady Bobcats had a three-match win streak snapped Thursday night at the hands of a very good Wingate team, as they lost 3-1.

After dropping a tight opening set 27-25, the Lady Bobcats battled back to take the second set 25-23. But they fell apart in the final two games, losing 25-17 and 24-13 on the road.

Bloomfield (7-7, 3-3) came into Thursday’s match having just topped Kirtland Central 3-1 on Tuesday night. Coach Rae Collins said she didn’t see that same type of effort out of her team against Wingate (13-2, 4-1).

“We were not the team we were on Tuesday,” Collins said. “We were inconsistent. We had too many errors that put us in holes.”

Bloomfield got a lift from its bench in the match, but still couldn’t do enough to outlast Wingate.

The Lady Bobcats square off with Shiprock on Tuesday at home.

Navajo Prep 3, Tohatchi 0

Navajo Prep (12-1, 5-0 District 1-3A) took care of business against Tohatchi (12-4, 2-3) and swept the Lady Cougars 25-21, 25-12, 25-21 Thursday night in Tohatchi.

“The girls are playing a lot more consistent,” Prep head coach Rainy Crisp said in a text message. “We’re having a stronger start and keeping the momentum. Everyone is stepping up and doing their part to get the win.”

Martinque Larvingo had seven aces and four blocks in the win, while Kaylee Wood finished with 22 digs to pace the Lady Eagle defense.

Prep will play at Newcomb on Tuesday.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.