Aztec sweeps Lady Broncos in district opener

Karl Schneider
  • Farmington picked up a road win over Gallup, coming back in four sets after dropping the opener.
  • Bloomfield won its fourth match in a row by holding off Miyamura in its District 1-5A opener.

FARMINGTON — The Aztec volleyball team had its share of ups and downs through the first part of the season. But when district play began tonight for the Lady Tigers, they put their previous woes behind them and rolled to a 25-15, 25-20, 25-23 win over Kirtland Central at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.

Aztec's Myra McCaskill digs the ball against Kirtland Central on Tuesday at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.

“We talked about the season starting all over for everyone. Everyone came into tonight 0-0,” Aztec coach Anna Strauss said. “The girls played really well in all aspects of the game. Tonight, they had a lot of confidence, and that is always so important in this game.”

Aztec also featured a new lineup in the win, flipping Carly Phillips from libero to setter and Myra McCaskill from setter to libero.

“We just needed to try a little different chemistry. And it’s good to know we have versatility with our lineup,” Strauss said.

In their new positions, Phillips finished the night with 26 kills, and McCaskill recorded 23 digs.

While Aztec (5-6, 1-0 District 1-5A) came out on fire, the Lady Broncos (0-8, 0-1) lacked intensity and desire through the opening set.

“My girls just weren’t ready,” KC coach Nadia Watson said. “It took them a while to get going, and that has kind of been us all season. I keep telling them we have to figure out what works for us, and we have yet to find it.”

Even though it wasn’t their best performance, Watson said there were a couple positives — serving and serve receiving — KC can build on.

Watson said junior Bioncee Yazzie was the bright spot for the Lady Broncos, passing, serving and hitting well throughout the night.

Kirtland Central's Jordan Begay passes the ball against Aztec on Tuesday at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.

Four Lady Tigers finished with six or more kills, which kept KC’s defense off balance and out of system.

Aztec will travel to Bloomfield on Thursday to play Bloomfield (5-5, 1-0).

KC will be back on the road Thursday, playing at Farmington (4-7, 1-0).

Farmington 3, Miyamura 1

After blowing a late lead in the first set against Gallup (6-4, 0-1), the Farmington volleyball team took control in the next three sets to beat the Lady Bengals 24-26, 25-22, 25-18 and 25-20 tonight in Gallup.

“We had the lead in the first, then blew it and let them go on a five- or six-point run. But we were able to take the lead early in the next three sets and kept it most of the time,” Farmington coach Alana Rowland said. “So I’m pleased with the girls, and that they were able to walk out of there with a win. We needed this win.”

Bergan Campbell paced the Lady Scorps’ attack with 12 kills and didn’t commit any hitting errors on her 29 attempts. Rowland said Campbell has developed her hitting by simply playing smarter, looking for openings instead of just hitting as hard as she can to get it by the opposition.

Rowland also said the Lady Scorps (4-7, 1-0) had their best serving match of the year and finished with 14 aces.

Farmington will host Kirtland Central (0-8, 0-1) on Thursday.

Bloomfield 3, Miyamura 1

The Bloomfield volleyball team picked up its fourth win a row, holding off Miyamura (5-6, 0-1) 26-28, 26-24, 25-19, 25-23 tonight at Bobcat Gym in Bloomfield.

“I’ve been telling them that we’re the team that’s going to battle. That’s the thing we’ve been working hard to do, and that’s exactly what we did tonight,” Bloomfield coach Sunni Baird said. “Tonight was really important for us.”

Bloomfield libero Natasha Largo finished the night with 45 digs, and Baird said the senior has begun to take control of the Lady Bobcats’ back row.

Setter Elana Flores recorded 40 assists, 16 of which went to Maddie Waresback, who led the team in kills.

Bloomfield (5-5, 1-0) will host Aztec (5-6, 1-0) on Thursday.

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