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Lady Tigers volleyball rolls over Gallup in final week of regular season


FARMINGTON − The final week of the regular season in high school volleyball finds several area and local teams fighting for playoff positioning.

Aztec has District 1-4A all wrapped up, coming off a three games to none victory at home Tuesday night over Bloomfield. Meantime, Farmington High has one match still to play in the regular season on Friday night, but may find themselves on the outside looking in when playoff seedings are announced this weekend.

The state cross-country championships are coming up this weekend in Albuquerque, with both Shiprock and Kirtland Central teams coming in as District 1-4A champions.

Here's a look back at a busy week in San Juan County high school sports.

Volleyball

Aztec 3, Gallup 0

The Aztec High School volleyball team wrapped up the District 1-4A title Tuesday night, sweeping Gallup on the road three games to none, earning their ninth consecutive district win without a loss this season.

The Lady Tigers won the match with scores of 25-22, 25-9 and 25-16, improving their overall record to 19-3 (9-0 District 1-4A). With just one match remaining at Kirtland Central on Thursday night, the seventh-ranked Aztec team has a two-match lead in district over the Lady Broncos heading into the showdown.

For Aztec, it's their first district title since 2016 when the Lady Tigers went a perfect 10-0 in District 1-5A before losing to Valencia three games to two in the first round of the state tournament.

Gallup falls to 13-9 overall (6-3 District) and will wrap up their regular season at Shiprock on Thursday night.

Kirtland Central 3, Bloomfield 0

The Kirtland Central High School volleyball team continues to push for a berth in the Class 4A state tournament, winning their fourth straight match with a three games to none sweep on the road over Bloomfield.

The Lady Broncos won the match with scores of 25-15, 25-23, 25-22 and improved their record on the season to 14-7. Sitting at 7-2 in District 1-4A, Kirtland Central is in second place in the standings, two games behind district leading Aztec. Those two teams will square off at Bronco Arena on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Bloomfield has lost four in a row and drops to 8-14 overall (2-7 District). They'll travel to Miyamura for their season finale scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m.

La Cueva 3, Farmington 0

The La Cueva High School volleyball team maintained their perfect record Tuesday night, sweeping district rival Farmington three games to none at Scorpion Arena.

The Lady Bears, with a record of 22-0 this season, are the top-ranked volleyball team in the state according to MaxPreps. The victory Tuesday night gives them a 9-0 mark in District 2-5A competition and prepares them for a run at a second consecutive state title.

La Cueva defeated Cleveland High School for the Class 5A title last year after winning all but one of their 25 matches last season. The Lady Bears volleyball team has won 42 consecutive matches dating back to a loss against Cibola in Sept., 2021.

The Lady Scorpions lost the match Tuesday night by scores of 25-10, 25-13 and 25-8 and fall to 10-12 overall (3-6 District). Currently ranked 14th in Class 5A, Farmington needs a win Friday night at home against crosstown rival Piedra Vista to have a chance at earning a postseason berth.

Cross-Country

Teams from Kirtland Central and Shiprock High Schools took home the blue trophy this past weekend, winning the District 1-4A titles in a meet held on Saturday at Kirtland Elementary School.

The Kirtland Central boys team, led by sophomore Dathan Esson and freshman Raymond Hunt, earned the team title over the weekend, defeating Gallup and Miyamura, which rounded out the top three.

Esson won the boys 5000 meter race, crossing the finish line with a final time of 16 minutes and 46 seconds, beating Gallup's Theodore Roundface by seven seconds. Hunt finished third, with a final time of 17:12 while Shiprock's Logan Pioche and Gallup's Dwight Spencer finished in the top five.

Overall, the Broncos team scored 48 points, nine ahead of Gallup and 23 ahead of Miyamura for top honors.

Aztec's Noah Higgins crossed the finish line in ninth place to lead the Tigers while Bloomfield's Jayvn Frank finished 18th in the race to lead the Bobcats.

Esson will be one of the top contenders for the Class 4A boys state title when the New Mexico Activities Association's state cross-country championship meet will be held Saturday at Albuquerque Academy.

In girls cross-country action, Shiprock senior Kaydence Platero led the Lady Chieftains to victory in the District 1-4A championship meet. The Shiprock girls team had three top-10 finishers and outpaced Gallup and Kirtland Central High Schools.

Platero ran her 5000 meter race in a final time of 19:59, beating her teammate, sophomore Taylor Begay by 44 seconds. Aztec's Alisia Valerio finished third, with Gallup's Yanibah Begay and Merisha Long rounding out the top five finishers in the event.

Bloomfield's girls team was led by Desirea Gurule, who finished sixth while Kirtland Central was led by eighth-place finisher Bryanne Morgan.

For complete results from the District 1-4A championships, check out the official link from MileSplitNM.com.