Lady Panthers slide past Farmington 3-0

Karl Schneider
  • Aztec falls to Los Lunas 25-21, 25-12 and 25-19
  • Slow start dooms Navajo Prep to 25-23, 25-22, 25-13 loss to Capital

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista volleyball team didn’t have its best performance against crosstown rival Farmington, but the Lady Panthers were still good enough to sweep the Lady Scorps 25-14, 25-17 and 25-12 tonight at Scorpion Gym.

Piedra Vista celebrates after scoring a point against Farmington on Tuesday at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

“We were off tonight. I don’t know what was going on,” PV coach Ron Becker said. “We just didn’t play well, and (Farmington) couldn’t figure it out, either. There was no rhythm. We kept trying, but we just didn’t have our timing like we’re used to.”

The Lady Scorps have been on the wrong side of the score against PV for 22 straight meetings, and first-year head coach Alana Rowland said the losing streak has taken a toll on the Farmington players’ psyche.

“A couple weeks ago, I was talking to the girls, and they said they’ve always had a fear of PV,” Rowland said. “They’re their own worst enemy if that’s how they’re going to think. Tonight, I think they got in their own heads too much.”

After taking the first set with relative ease, the Lady Panthers opened a 10-4 lead on Farmington in the second set. But that’s when the Lady Scorps started to show some fight and battled back with a 6-1 run to cut their deficit to 11-10.

Piedra Vista's Elli Wright spikes the ball past Farmington's Mishael Isaacson, left, and Bergen Campbell on Tuesday at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

Sensing the match could get away from them and swing to the Lady Scorps' favor, the Lady Panthers found a bit of rhythm at the service line. With powerful and accurate serves, PV took Farmington out of system and pulled away for the win.

“That was the one thing I liked,” Becker said of PV’s serving. “We missed more than I’d like, but we did serve tougher, which is a good tradeout because it puts pressure on the other team. I’m proud of our serving, and the girls had some serves that were pretty vicious.”

The hot serving continued for the Lady Panthers in the third set, and they took a quick 15-7 lead.

The Lady Scorps struggled to provide each other with clean passes and saw the ball fall between players on multiple occasions as the result of poor communication during the set. While those are issues Rowland will address with her team, she said being more aggressive at the net will be a focus moving forward.

Farmington's Donna Hall, left, and Mishael Isaacson block a hit by Piedra Vista on Tuesday at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

“We definitely need to be more aggressive at the net with our blocking. PV has some great hitters, but in practice we do a great job blocking, and today, we kind of crashed and burned at the net,” Rowland said.

Farmington will host Shiprock on Thursday before playing in the PV Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

PV will be off until Friday when the Lady Panthers host the annual PV Invitational.

Los Lunas 3, Aztec 0

The Aztec volleyball team couldn’t find a way to get past Los Lunas (2-0) and fell to the Lady Tigers 25-21, 25-12 and 25-19 tonight in Los Lunas.

Despite the loss, Aztec coach Anna Strauss said her team looked a lot better than it did in last week’s tournament in Belen.

“I changed our lineup around from last week, and it really seemed to work for us. I’m really pleased with tonight and how the girls played, considering it was against last year’s state champs,” Strauss said. “Our passing really fell apart in the second set, but in the first and third sets, we played well, and our blocking was really great. (Los Lunas) has a couple of really good hitters, and our blocking was our biggest asset.”

The Lady Tigers (1-2) will get plenty of chances at top competition this weekend when they play at the Piedra Vista Invitational in Farmington.

“I just want to see the girls continue to get better,” Strauss said. “We need to work on the areas that are our weaknesses and keep improving on our strengths to make them even stronger. We also need to build a good, positive team chemistry.”

Capital 3, Navajo Prep 0

The Navajo Prep volleyball team couldn’t get on track and fell 25-23, 25-22 and 25-13 to Capital (4-2) tonight at the Eagles Nest.

“We just started slow every set. We started slow and tried to play catchup. We didn’t come together as a team like we usually do, and by the time the third set started, it was too late,” Prep coach Rainy Crisp said. “We just weren’t consistent across the board. We didn’t communicate at all, and it was one of the worst games we’ve had in a long time.”

The Lady Eagles (2-2) won’t get any time off to reflect on the performance as they travel to Santa Fe to challenge Desert Academy (0-0) Wednesday.

“I’m anxious to see how we bounce back,” Crisp said. “We were really mentally weak today. Capital came in and their crowd during the (junior varsity) and C team games got into our head. It will be interesting to see how we come out against Desert Academy.”

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