Lady Cardinals win, take over No. 1 spot
Round 1 went to the defending District 2-3A champion.
Las Vegas Robertson rolled into Perez-Shelley Gymnasium as the slight underdog in its district tussle with the top-ranked St. Michael’s Lady Horsemen on Thursday, but the Lady Cardinals’ size and faster tempo trumped the Lady Horsemen defense in a 27-25, 25-23, 13-25, 25-23 win.
The Lady Cardinals (9-5 overall, 4-0 in 2-3A) take over first place with the victory as they won their third straight match.
Both teams were already familiar with each other, having played in the same pool in the Tournament of Champions. Robertson head coach Stacy Fulgenzi felt that getting an early look at St. Michael’s (13-2, 3-1) better prepared her team for their matches in district play.
She added that she was still tinkering with her rotation at the time, but the emergence of freshman Jayden Jenkins helped solidify the frontline
“Jayden hadn’t been playing that much [before the Tournament of Champions], but she’s been a big part of the team,” Fulgenzi said.
Senior outside hitter Alianza Darley came up big in Game 1, coming up with a kill off the block to get Robertson within 24-23, then tied the score with an ace on the next point. After the teams traded points, Tessa Ortiz came up with a tip to break a 25-all tie in favor of Robertson, then she followed with a block to win the game.
“They were talking to each other and telling each other, ‘Let’s get the next point,’ ” Fulgenzi said. “That’s what we needed them to do. We don’t need people to lose their confidence.”
In Game 2, Robertson used a four-point run to take a 23-20 lead and held on to put the Lady Horsemen in a two-games-to-zero hole.
The two teams will face off in Las Vegas on Oct. 25.
Santa Fe High 3, Capital 0
The Demonettes held a block party in Capital’s Edward Ortiz Memorial Gymnasium, as Ainsley Reynolds-Smith and Jorja Chambers each had eight blocks as Santa Fe High rolled to a 25-22, 25-12, 25-22 win to take control of second place in District 5-5A.
It was just one part of an overall strong performance by Santa Fe High (8-5, 3-1). Salome Romp led the way with 21 kills at the net, and sophomore Laila Bernadino added seven and Reynolds-Smith five.
Santa Fe Prep 3, West Las Vegas 0
The Blue Griffins learned that leadership doesn’t just come from the top.
The underclassmen were crucial in helping Prep navigate a 29-27, 26-24, 25-17 sweep in a 2-3A match in Prep Gymnasium. Sophomore Raelyn Gonzales served out Games 2 and 3, while junior Jazlyn Sanchez had a 10-point service run that turned an 11-7 Lady Dons lead into a 17-11 Blue Griffins advantage in Game 3.
“It just changed the whole momentum of that third game,” Prep head coach Kiran Bhakta said. “They were not letting balls during that run, and that’s something they have to continue to do.”
Prep (5-9, 2-2) heads to Santa Fe Indian School on Oct. 16 a district match.
Pojoaque Valley 3, Moriarty 1
The Elkettes (14-1, 3-0) used a familiar formula to stay atop District 2-4A with a 25-14, 23-25, 25-19, 25-14 win in Ben Luján Gymnasium.
They had just three service errors out of 92 chances and had six aces. The back row duo of Adrianna Quintana and Alyssa Rodriguez combined for 52 digs, with Rodriguez collecting 27 of them as Moriarty (7-9, 1-3) simply could not find many holes in the Pojoaque defense.
“We are getting better on defense, if you can believe that,” Pojoaque head coach Joe Rodriguez said. “Moriarty swings well. When they swing, they swing.”
Quintana had 29 assists, while Espy Torres and Ashten Martinez each had nine kills. Camilla Cordova added eight and Leah Trujillo had six blocks.
Desert Academy 3, Santa Fe Waldorf 0
The Lady Wildcats dismantled the Lady Wolves in fashioning a 25-9, 25-17, 25-16 nondistrict sweep in the Institute of American Indian Arts Fitness Center.
The upperclassmen led the way for Desert Academy (5-8) as Jacqueline Ortiz had 13 digs, senior Natalie Nathanson hammered home 15 kills and junior Olivia Rigatti served six aces.
“Our upperclassmen stepped up, and that allowed my young girls to get some time on the court and get some experience,” Desert Academy head coach Jordan Coon said.
St. Michael’s 10, Abq. Oak Grove Classical 0
Senior day was definitely good for the Horsemen (11-5-1, 6-1) — except for Isaiah Vigil.
While Vigil recorded a shutout in a 2-1A/3A match at Christian Brothers Athletic Complex, but St. Michael’s head coach Mike Feldewert wanted to give him some time away from the goal. Unfortunately, he didn’t bring his regular jersey. So while fellow seniors Hayden Lee, Justice Johnson and Christian Farrar each scored a goal, Vigil was left wanting.
“He left his darn jersey at the house, and we didn’t have an extra jersey,” Feldewert said.
Overall, 10 Horsemen scored a goal, with John Morrison also dishing out four assists to go with his lone goal. Wesley Sage Graham had a goal and two assists, and junior Kennis Lucero scored his first varsity goal.
St. Michael’s finishes its season on the road, starting with an Oct. 16 match at Albuquerque Bosque School.