BLOOMFIELD — In a match that lasted nearly two and a half hours, the Farmington volleyball team pulled off a crucial 3-2 victory tonight in an exhilarating game against Bloomfield at Bobcat Gym.
Three of the five match sets required extra points. Farmington pulled ahead of the hosts in the District 1-5A standings by winning the marathon match 27-25, 29-31, 19-25, 25-22, 20-18.
Since both teams came in with 2-2 district records, FHS coach Alana Rowland said she knew it would be an evenly matched battle. But after an encouraging first set from her girls, she said she was a little let down that they made it such an exhausting night.
"We came out and totally had control and I thought, 'Yay, we're here! This is gonna be great!'" Rowland said. "And then the roller coaster ride happened. We gave everyone their money's worth, that's for sure."
Bloomfield (6-9, 2-3) won a second set that featured eight lead changes, then carried that momentum on to roll past the Lady Scorps in the third. But Farmington (6-9, 2-3 ) put its foot on the gas to take the last two sets in front of a raucous crowd.
Bergen Campbell came through with the game-winning kill in the fifth set. For a team that's had a tendency to be timid hitting the ball this year, Campbell showed no fear in a pressure-packed situation.
"On match point, Campbell just told me that our setter told her, 'Don't hit this,' and Bergen said 'No, coach said to hit the ball,'" Rowland said. "And that's how she ended that match, with a big swing."
Sophomore Jadyn Curry had a huge night for the visitors with 20 kills, while Campbell and Alyssa Simmons combined for 31.
Monica Briones had 55 assists on the night to go along with her 12 digs and three aces. Lexie Jackson paced the Lady Scorps in digs with 35.
Lady Bobcats coach Sunny Baird said she was proud of the way her girls fought all night. Baird said the one critique she has of her team based on tonight's loss is its lapses in aggressiveness.
"Not letting up when the game's on the line might be the thing we could have done a better job of," Baird said. "Just being aggressive throughout the entire game and really taking the fight to them."
Aztec 3, Miyamura 0
The Lady Tigers remained flawless in district action when they won their fifth straight game in a sweep of Miyamura tonight at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.
Savannah McCarthy had 10 kills and three other Lady Tigers added seven apiece as Aztec (9-6, 5-0 District 1-5A) won 25-11, 25-17, 25-17.
The Lady Tigers had every set well in hand, according to coach Anna Strauss, who said her teams did a couple of things very well against the Lady Patriots (6-9, 1-4).
"We served well, and we passed well," Strauss said. "Those were the keys. And we were pretty scrappy on defense."
After going 0-8 in the district last year, the Lady Tigers have done a 180 in 2016 and now sit atop the 1-5A standings. Strauss said that though her current group of girls is in unfamiliar territory, her players are hungry for more.
"They haven't been in this situation, but they're pretty focused right now," Strauss said. "They're staying positive, and they're set on finishing what they started."
Kirtland Central 3, Gallup 1
The tumultuous 0-8 start that Kirtland Central got off to this year is now a distant memory, as the Lady Broncos won their fourth straight match tonight when they cut down Gallup 3-1 on the road.
The Lady Broncos (4-8, 4-1 District 1-5A) looked sluggish at times, according to coach Nadia Begay-Watson, who said the travel might have affected her girls a bit.
"I may need to change up our warm-up routine when we have away trips to get them more into it because they just had a hard time getting going today," Begay-Watson said.
KC struggled to take advantage of second-chance balls, but still stepped up and won a tight match against Gallup (6-8, 0-5) by scores of 25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-22.
The Lady Broncos visit Aztec — the last team to defeat them — on Thursday.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.