Piedra Vista sweeps Lady Broncos in opener

Karl Schneider
  • Shiprock edges Bloomfield after four back-and-fourth sets
  • Navajo Prep sweeps former district foe Crownpoint

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista volleyball team got its season off to a hot start, sweeping Kirtland Central 25-9, 25-5 and 25-15 tonight at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.

Piedra Vista's Elli Wright spikes the ball during a game against Kirtland Central on Tuesday at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.

Standing out most in the win was the fact that no one player dominated the day, but that the Lady Panthers dominated from every position on the court.

“Everybody does their part, and any team that functions well needs everybody playing together as a team and everybody to pick up their piece of the game. They did a really good job of that tonight,” PV coach Ron Becker said. “We don’t have anyone who’s the standout player and gets the ball all of the time. We can put the ball anywhere we want.”

The Lady Broncos did as much damage to themselves as PV did, committing numerous unforced errors in each set.

“There’s really no excuse. These girls are veterans, and it comes down to digging through stuff like that,” KC coach Nadia Watson said of the mistakes. “We were in the net or we didn’t get any tips on the ball, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, those are things we need to control going forward.”

PV exhibited its dominance early in the first set, jumping out to a 10-5 lead and never looking back.

The Lady Panthers’ size advantage on the front line became noticeable in the second set. After the first few kill attempts from KC were thwarted with PV blocks, the Lady Broncos began looking for new ways to break through. The initial adjustment from KC’s hitters was to hit over the Lady Panthers, but the added height to the kill attempts resulted in hits landing out of bounds.

Piedra Vista's Stephanie Schmidt (11) and Bebe Jaquez (8) defend the net against Kirtland Central on Tuesday at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.

In the third set the Lady Broncos took advantage of uncharacteristic service errors by PV.

“We did start a little slow in the third set, but they stayed steady and got right back in it, and they’ve been really good at doing that,” Becker said.

KC held a slight lead for the early part of the set until the Lady Panthers put together a 10-2 run to take control 19-12.

PV will be off until Tuesday when the Lady Panthers travel across town to face Farmington (0-0).

KC will host rival Shiprock (2-0) on Thursday at Bronco Arena.

Kirtland Central's Avery Begay returns the ball during a game against Piedra Vista on Tuesday at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.

“We need to focus on what we need to do. Shiprock is relentless and they’ll dig every ball out — when you think it’s down, it’s not,” Watson said. “We need to get the ball down and stick with our game plan and not deviate because of what’s going on on (Shiprock’s) side of the court.”

Shiprock 3, Bloomfield 1

The Shiprock volleyball team held off a resilient Bloomfield squad 25-23, 25-20, 20-25 and 25-23 tonight at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.

Bloomfield coach Rae Collins said that even though her team lost, the closely fought match was a great confidence boost for the Lady Bobcats.

“One of the things we’ve been battling with is not getting down on ourselves and giving up when we get behind. In the first set we were down 24-19 and battled back to get it to 24-23 before (Shiprock) got the last point,” Collins said. “It was great for the girls to see that they can do that.”

Collins said the Lady Bobcats played an all-around great match with consistent serving, aggressive hitting with few errors and a fluid defense that kept the Lady Chieftains from putting together long scoring runs.

Shiprock coach Teri Atcitty could not be reached for comment.

Shiprock will play at rival Kirtland Central (0-1) on Thursday.

Bloomfield will be off until Sept. 9 when the Lady Bobcats play Ganado, Ariz., (0-0) in the first round of the Piedra Vista Invitational in Farmington.

Navajo Prep 3, Crownpoint 0

The Navajo Prep volleyball team swept Crownpoint 25-9, 25-9 and 25-8 tonight at the Eagles Nest.

Prep coach Rainy Crisp said her team’s serving made things difficult for Crownpoint (0-3) and was the difference in the win.

“Our serving is what really carried us throughout the game,” Crisp said. “We served tough and took them out of the game with our serves. That was the main thing.”

Along with the solid performance at the service line, Crisp said the Lady Eagles (2-0) did a good job spreading the ball around to keep Crownpoint from keying in on any specific player.

Prep will host Farmington (0-0) on Thursday.

Crisp said she has very high expectations for this year’s team, and she’s looking for the Lady Eagles to put those same expectations on themselves starting with the Farmington game.

“I want to see them play with higher expectations for themselves. We have to have our own standard of what we want to play at every game,” Crisp said. “Coming up against Farmington and will be a good game, we want to have high standards for ourselves.”

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