Shiprock dominates Kirtand Central in sweep
Farmington uses its defense to slide past Navajo Prep 3-1
KIRTLAND — Bronco Arena was noisy from start to finish tonight but it was the Shiprock volleyball fans who traveled to Kirtland who did most of the cheering.
The Lady Chieftains (3-0) made quick work of Kirtland Central, sweeping their longtime rivals by scores of 25-13, 25-17, 25-22.
KC's only lead of the entire night came in the opening moments of the first set, when the Lady Broncos (0-2) went up 3-2.
Shiprock coach Teri Atcitty didn't have much to complain about after the victory.
"I'm pretty happy with how they played today. They played as a team and talked to each other throughout," Atcitty said. "Just being there for each other, that's what they did."
A Shiprock hot streak in the opening game set the tone for what would be a one-sided affair. Ahead only 4-3 at the time, the Lady Chiefs ripped off 10 straight points and went on to cruise to the 12-point win in the first set.
The only other time the Lady Broncos sniffed a victory — or even a lead — was in the last set, when they fought back from a 17-10 deficit to make it 21-20 at one point. But they never got closer than that.
The couple of times when the Lady Broncos appeared to be on the verge of picking up a win, they shot themselves in the foot with unforced errors. In particular, two serves were sent into their own net late in the match, giving Shiprock two of its final four points of the night.
KC coach Nadia Watson said her team is just not jelling in the early part of the season.
"I just had a long conversation with them, and they realize they're not communicating well with each other," Watson said. "They're all on different pages, and we just need to get it figured out."
Serving has been problematic for KC so far in the young season, but it's a problem that's fixable, according to Watson.
"Those were killer for us against PV, too," she said. "It's a downer. It's definitely something we'll address. Getting back to the basics is what it comes down to."
Starting middle hitter Tanisha Begay played big for Shiprock with blocks and tips at the net all night. Atcitty said the senior didn't lack energy or effort.
"She's getting adjusted to being back on the court this season and moving around well," Atcitty said. "I'm pretty happy with how hard she's working."
The Lady Chieftains will try to keep rolling at Farmington on Sept. 8. KC will have a slightly longer layoff, playing next in the Piedra Vista High School Invitational from Sept. 9-10.
Farmington 3, Navajo Prep 1
Former Odessa Junior College coach Alana Rowland got her first win under her belt at the high school level tonightwhen the Lady Scorpions beat Navajo Prep 3-1 at the Eagles Nest in Farmington.
The Lady Scorps won 25-18, 16-25, 25-18, 25-22.
Farmington's sophomores had a big impact on the game. Alyssa Simmons and Bergen Campbell combined for 15 kills in the game, while Mikaila Dart helped out with five aces.
Senior Lexie Jackson was all over the court and finished with 22 digs for Farmington.
Jackson and the defense spearheaded the victory over Prep (2-1), according to Rowland.
"We had spurts of amazing floor defense," she said. "They were pretty scrappy. So, that was exciting to see."
On the offensive side, being aggressive on the ball is something the Lady Scorps will have to work on, according to their new head coach.
"We were more timid than anticipated. I almost felt like we were terrified to swing on the ball," Rowland said. "I'm glad we have the first-game jitters out of the way and have a better vision of what we need to work on for Tuesday night at home."
Farmington hosts PV on Tuesday.
Despite losing, Navajo Prep coach Rainy Crisp said, "It was a good game for us to see where we're really at" via text after the game.
Martinique Larvingo led the way with 12 kills and five blocks for the Lady Eagles. Harlei Haceesa contributed five aces, while Necole Begay added 14 assists.
Prep will be at home on Tuesday against Capital.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.