FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista volleyball team controlled its own destiny coming into today's match against Volcano Vista, but a 3-0 loss means PV has a huge hill to climb in next week's District 1-6A tournament.
PV had a chance to snag its seventh win in district play, a win total no other team in 1-6A reached, but the Lady Panthers (16-4, 6-2) came out flat and were defeated in straight sets by the Lady Hawks (13-5, 6-2) 25-16, 25-20, 25-23.
"It was pretty mental today, I think," PV coach Ron Becker said. "We just couldn't get our heads into it."
VV was helped out by the hosts in the third set, when a slew of uncharacteristic unforced errors assisted the Lady Hawks in jumping out to a 6-2 start. It took a 14-6 score in VV's favor for Becker to call the first timeout of the set. He said he made some adjustments at that point.
"Volcano Vista kept setting their right side a lot, so we made some adjustments on the block," Becker said. "We tried to bunch our block on that side, and it kind of helped a bit. We got some momentum going on our side."
PV chipped away at VV's lead until it was a one-point game. But at match point, ahead 24-23, the Lady Hawks managed one final kill to slash PV's hopes of taking first place in the district.
Bebe Jaquez paced PV in kills with 11 while Kamryn Gordon piled up 30 assists.
Set wins in the regular-season matches between Volcano Vista, Piedra Vista and Cleveland served as the tiebreaker among the top three teams in 1-6A. Since both Cleveland-VV matches went to five sets, those schools came away with eight total set wins, while PV won only seven times in the two season series.
"We basically got punished for winning our matches too quickly," Becker said.
VV and Cleveland play a one-game playoff Tuesday to decide the top seed in the district tourney. Third-place PV will host a 6:30 p.m. game Wednesday against either Cibola or Rio Rancho.
The Lady Panthers face a challenging travel schedule if they are to reach the tourney final. Should they win Wednesday, the Lady Panthers must travel to play the loser of VV-Cleveland on Thursday, and if they win that match, they'll come back to Farmington, then hit the road again on Saturday to play either VV or Cleveland for the district title and automatic state playoff bid.
"It's really sad because if we just won today, we would have been at home for the whole thing," Becker said. "Instead, we have to potentially take two long trips just to be in the final."
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.