Navajo Prep and Shiprock earn wins in season openers

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BLOOMFIELD — The Navajo Prep volleyball team got off to a great start in the 2016 season, sweeping Bloomfield 25-18, 25-21 and 25-22 tonight at Bobcat Gym.

Leading Prep’s attack was junior Martinique Larvingo, whose athleticism, leadership and power proved to be the difference.

“Even in preseason and in the summer, she has been one of our more vocal leaders. She’s only a junior, but her leadership right now is like a senior," Prep coach Rainy Crisp said of Larvingo. "It’s going to be about consistency and if she can keep this up throughout the season.”

Prep (1-0) cruised through the first set. After the Lady Bobcats (0-1) tied the set at 8, Prep went on a 12-4 run to make it 20-12. During the run, Bloomfield forced multiple long rallies, but almost all of them ended with a powerful kill from Larvingo. Prep never trailed in the set.

The two sides battled back and forth in the second set with neither one able to create more than a few points of separation. Late in the set, Prep led 19-18 before running off five straight points to take control.

“We gave away too many points that we could’ve controlled,” Bloomfield coach Rae Collins said. “As a team, we’re still supporting each other and trying to get over that hump together. We had spurts of good play, but when we needed it the most, we couldn’t stay in control.”

It looked like the Lady Bobcats had finally broken through in the third set. The team led most of the way and built an 18-15 advantage that sparked a timeout from Crisp.

“I think we were starting to get a little tight, so I told them to relax,” Crisp said of the timeout. “I told them to focus on our passing and our serves. Our serves were killing us in that third set.”

After the break, the Lady Bobcats made it 19-15, but Prep responded to Crisp's message with an 8-1 run to take a 23-20 lead before closing out the set for the win.

Bloomfield will play at Los Alamos (0-0) on Saturday.

Navajo Prep will host Crownpoint (0-1) on Tuesday.

Shiprock 3, Miyamura 2

The Shiprock volleyball team needed all five sets to get a victory over Miyamura (1-1) tonight in Gallup.

Set scores were not available, but Shiprock coach Teri Atcitty said her team won the first set with relative ease before dropping close sets in the second and third, only to battle back to take the fourth and fifth.

Leading Shiprock (1-0) in the win were junior outside and middle hitter Chamika Begaye and senior libero Janae Benally.

“Chamika Begaye played pretty well as far as getting her kills, and Janae Benally served the ball well for us,” Atcitty said.

Shiprock will host Bloomfield (0-1) on Tuesday.

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

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