First up for Farmington at state is Goddard

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FARMINGTON — Match by match, Farmington has thrived on some type of in-game challenge.

First, it was controlling the pace on the attack, then it became controlling the pace on both sides of the net. That soon turned into winning key points late in sets and not letting up.

"Every time we've faced a new challenge, we've just been forced to adapt," senior setter Monica Briones said. "There's a lot more desire (on this team) than I've ever played with. All the girls have a want and need to win."

Now the Scorpions have another challenge awaiting them at 8 a.m. Thursday to start 5A state tournament pool play: Goddard middle hitters Vittoria Price and Sophia Price. Both stand at 6 feet tall, but FHS hopes to neutralize the duo up front.

"You've got to be ready to move fast any direction (facing those two)," junior outside hitter Bergen Campbell said.

Farmington plans to combat that size mismatch with speed, setting up plays even quicker.

"The bigger (opponents) are, the harder they fall," coach Alana Rowland said. "We've got to be faster than they are."

Farmington has played in very few matches in which it faced taller opponents, but it's not unfamiliar territory. The Scorpions have dealt with players like Piedra Vista hitter Kacee Moore, who is also a 6 footer. Campbell said Farmington found ways to keep the ball away from Moore and win extra points from there.

Farmington (19-3) is already loaded with talent across the board. The Scorpions have speed and toughness on both ends of the net. They recognize quickly where the ball will land and have good timing in setting up plays.

"Everyone wants the ball. When the ball doesn't hit the floor, you'll win," Campbell said.

Farmington's only state finals appearance came in 1996. The Scorpions have yet to win a state title

Might this be the year Farmington not only returns to the title match, but also wins the actual title?

"I think so, I really do," Rowland said. "I think the girls are focused and ready to get this party started."

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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