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Prep volleyball: Santa Fe, Centennial advance to 5A championship

For the first time since 2016, New Mexico’s big-school state volleyball championship match won’t include a school from the metro area.

No. 1 seed Santa Fe and No. 2 Centennial won semifinal matches Thursday night, setting up a season-ending clash at the Pit at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Class 5A final.

The Demonettes (10-1), looking for their first state title in 25 years, swept visiting Cleveland (7-4) in one semifinal. The fifth-seeded Storm fell 25-19, 25-19, 25-19. Santa Fe beat district rival Cleveland in two out of three matches this season.

In Las Cruces, the second-seeded Hawks (13-0) defeated third-seeded La Cueva, 25-19, 21-25, 25-11, 25-18. The Bears (6-1) were chasing their third straight state championship.

Centennial reached the state final for the fourth time in the last five seasons, last winning it all in 2016.

In Class 1A’s state championship on Thursday afternoon, No. 1 seed Melrose capped a near-perfect season. The Lady Buffaloes (14-1) defeated No. 3 seed Gateway Christian from Roswell, 13-25, 25-18, 25-15, 26-24. It is Melrose’s first title since 2017.

Classes 2A, 3A and 4A have their state championship matches Friday at the Pit, and in all three brackets there is a chalk final.

No. 2 seed Albuquerque Academy faces No. 1 Goddard in the Class 4A final at 2 p.m. Friday. That is followed at 5 p.m. by the 3A title match between No. 1 Socorro and No. 2 Sandia Prep.

Class 2A gets it started Friday, at 11 a.m., as No. 1 Texico faces No. 2 Cloudcroft.

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