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A look back at the top sports stories in northern New Mexico
No. 4 ST. MICHAEL’S 3, No. 1 TULAROSA 0: Although a large chunk of the Horsemen’s Class 3A state championship squad from a year ago graduated, the ones who remained were able to provide plenty of guidance to lead St. Mike’s into the final day of the tournament.
Not that it was really needed as the Wildcats put up little resistance in the finale of the winner’s bracket as the Horsemen (18-7) won 25-14, 25-16, 25-17.
“That’s how we pulled it off (Thursday),” St. Mike’s coach Valerie Sandoval said of the team’s leadership. “We went five with Sandia Prep and Molly (Maestas), one of my seniors, who was a big part of the team last year, and Lily Barker, they came through at the end. I think having that experience from last year totally was an advantage to us.”
The final result against Tularosa was a little surprising, if only because Sandoval knew nothing about them.
“We haven’t seen them at all and we haven’t seen anybody who has seen them, so we could scout or request film,” she said. “I just told my girls that we had to come out aggressive.”
That was not quite the way things started out Thursday.
“We started off really slow and I think we learned from it,” Sandoval said. “And we showed when we start out strong, it helps our confidence and it helps our momentum. We just built on it every time, so it was good.”
In such a dominating win, it’s not much of a stretch to say that the Horsemen had every phase working well.
“Our middles were swinging,” Sandoval said. “Lily was swinging. Our serve receive was fantastic and we were able to run out offense. Once we started out strong, our girls didn’t hold back. They continued to hammer and it was pretty good to see.”
No. 2 ROBERTSON 3, No. 3 HATCH VALLEY 1: A little thing like being without suspended coach Stacy Fulgenzi was not going to slow the Cardinals down in the finale of the winner’s bracket.
Fulgenzi, who was suspended a month ago, but still not given cause by Las Vegas Public Schools officials, was voted the District 2-3A coach of the year award in a show of support from the other coaches.
“Coach Stacy built this program,” interim head coach Fran Jenkins said. “She built the girls like that. They can get through this. They have many reasons to be doing it. For themselves. For coach Stacy. For each other. And we all stick together and it just makes us stronger. They feel that people want them to fail, so they’re working hard to show them that they can do this.”
Indeed, the Bears felt the wrath dispensed by Robertson (19-5) in the 25-16, 25-10, 25-21 decision.
“In the first two sets, we were really doing everything,” Jenkins said. “The strong point is our hitting. Our hitters were excited, they were motivated and they were really putting the ball down.”
Tessa Ortiz, Shayla Hills, Jadyn Romero and Jayden Jenkins really came through with a big match, she said.
And the defense dominated.
‘Our defense has been moving their feet like crazy,” coach Jenkins said. “These girls want it.”
Earlier games Friday:
No. 5 SANTA FE 3, No. 11 ROSWELL 1: The Demonettes advanced in the consolation round with a strong 25-13, 19-25, 25-20, 25-16 win over the Rockets.
No. 8 SILVER 3, No. 7 LOS ALAMOS 0: The Hilltoppers (15-8) were ousted at the state tournament by the Colts 25-20, 25-18, 26-24.
No. 5 SANDIA PREP, No. 11 SANTA FE INDIAN SCHOOL 0: The Braves (8-17) were eliminated from the state tournament 25-15, 25-23, 25-21 by the Sundevils.
No. 10 DESERT ACADEMY 3, No. 8 MONTE DEL SOL 1: In the sixth meeting between the schools this season, the Wildcats (13-9) evened the series at 3-all, winning in the consolation round of the state tournament 25-27, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19 to outlast the Dragons (20-6).
No. 4 PECOS 3, No. 6 CORONADO 0: The Panthers (19-5) had few issues with the Leopards, winning 25-23, 25-14, 25-21 in the state tournament consolation round.
Other Friday scores:
No. 4 PECOS 3, No. 6 CORONADO 0; No. 8 SOCORRO 3, No. 10 SANTA FE PREP 2
No. 4 VOLCANO VISTA 3, No. 5 SANTA FE 2: It was almost an epic rally for the Demonettes (19-5) in the state tournament semifinals. But in the end, they came up just short against the Hawks 25-20, 25-22, 23-25, 20-25, 15-12.
No. 2 GODDARD 3, No. 7 LOS ALAMOS 0: The Rockets ran roughshod over the Hilltoppers (15-8), winning 25-18, 25-15, 25-21 in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
No. 7 LOS ALAMOS 3, No. 10 POJOAQUE VALLEY 1: The Hiltoppers (15-7) made it three matches in a row against the rival Elkettes (14-8), winning 21-25, 25-13, 25-9, 25-20 in the opening round of the state tournament.
No. 4 ST. MICHAEL’S 3, No. 5 SANDIA PREP 2: The defending state champion Horsemen (17-7) got off to a shaky start in trying for back-to-back titles and had to come back in the final two sets to win 18-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 15-9 in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
No. 6 LAGUNA ACOMA 3, No. 11 SANTA FE INDIAN SCHOOL 0: The Braves (8-17) did not enough have enough fight to hold off the Hawks, losing to Laguna Acoma 25-15, 25-17, 25-20 in the opening round of the state tournament.
No. 2 ROBERTSON 3, No. 10 NAVAJO PREP 0: The Cardinals (18-5) rolled over the Eagles 25-11, 25-10, 25-13.
No. 8 MONTE DEL SOL 3, NO. 9 PEÃ’ASCO 2: In an opening round state tournament match, the Dragons (20-5) nearly blew a two-set lead before recovering in the finale, winning 25-18, 25-16, 13-25, 15-25, 15-9 over the Panthers (16-8).
No. 7 NAVAJO PREP 3, No. 10 SANTA FE PREP 0: The Blue Griffins (11-11) struggled against the Eagles, losing 25-14, 25-16, 25-12 in the opening round of the state tournament.
No. 5 MESCALERO APACHE 3, No. 4 PECOS 2: It was upset city for the Panthers (18-5), losing a tough 25-17, 15-25, 16-25, 25-17, 16-14 decision to the Chiefs in the state tournament quarterfinals.
NO. 7 EUNICE 3, NO. 10 DESERT ACADEMY 1: The Wildcats (12-9) could not pull off the upset against the Cardinals, losing 25-14, 17-25, 25-18, 25-17 in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
No. 1 TEXICO 3, No. 8 MONTE DEL SOL 0: The five-time defending state champion Wolverines had little trouble with the Dragons (20-6) 25-10, 25-19, 25-15 in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
Other Thursday scores: No. 5 SANTA FE 3, No. 12 HOBBS 0; No. 9 PEÃ’ASCO 3, No. 7 EUNINCE 2; No. 5 FLOYD 3, No. 12 SANTA FE WALDORF 1
COMMITMENT: Los Alamos golfer Henry Poston, who finished sixth in the Class 4A state tournament last year and helped the Hilltoppers win the state championships, signed to play at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
THINGS TO SEE OR DO
FISHING: If the wild waters are calling, you may want to check out the 2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour Friday at the Jean Cocteau Theatre. Doors for the $15 event open at 5 p.m. for the 6 p.m. showing that features a collection of short films, including a cross-continent fishing trip, a journey to the Australian coast, a trip down the Snake River in Idaho, a Hank Patterson adventure to South Dakota and more. For more information, see //jeancocteaucinema.com/event/2019-fly-fishing-film-tour-3-2.