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Grady, Fort Sumner stay alive; Lady Cats ousted

Staff report

RIO RANCHO — Grady in Class 1A and Fort Sumner in Class 2A stayed alive on Thursday in state volleyball competition with first-round wins after finishing second in pool play.

link Courtesy photo: Sports Fanatic Photography

Texico junior Audrey Wren and sophomore Mel Davalos go up to try to block a Tularosa attack during Class 3A pool play in Friday’s state tournament competition at Rio Rancho’s Santa Ana Star Center. The Lady Wolverines won the pool and advanced to today’s quarterfinal round.

Meantime, Texico in Class 3A and Melrose in Class 1A won their pools, thus drawing byes into today’s quarterfinals.

In Class 6A, Clovis High finished third in pool play and then lost to Gadsden 25-18, 25-8, 25-10 in a first-round match at Santa Ana Star Center.

Grady (18-6) overcame a slow start to post an 11-25, 25-13, 25-22, 25-19 win over Hondo at Rio Rancho Cleveland H.S. The Lady Bronchjos take on Carrizozo in the last of four quarterfinal matches at Cleveland today, scheduled for 1:15 p.m.

Meantime, the Vixens (11-11) gained a 9:45 a.m. quarterfinal match against second-seeded district rival Logan at Santa Ana Star Center with a 25-19, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22 win over Hagerman, avenging a loss earlier this season to the Lady Bobcats.

“We started off strong and then got a little fatigued,” Vixens coach Lisa McMath said. “We had to re-find some energy.”

It will be their fifth meeting with Logan this year. They haven’t beaten the Lady Longhorns so far, but did take them to five games in the Vixen Classic.

“Anything can happen,” McMath said. “It’s the state tournament.”

link Courtesy photo: Scot Stinnett

Fort Sumner senior middle Codi Scovel-Wood tips past the block of Hagerman's Emeli Najera during the first round of bracket play at the Class 2A State Volleyball Tournament Thursday at Rio Rancho High School. Scovel-Wood had 12 kills, three blocks and three aces in the victory.

Another district rival, top-seeded Melrose (15-5), was first in Pool A and earned a bye to a 9:45 a.m. quarterfinal today against Mora.

Fort Sumner split with Cloudcroft 20-25, 25-20 and with Melrose 20-25, 25-20, while Melrose swept Cloudcroft 25-9, 25-16.

“We looked sharp up to the last set (against Fort Sumner),” first-year Melrose coach Casey Jackson said. “I think we’ve set ourselves up pretty well.”

The Lady Buffs and Logan have played four times this season, each winning twice.

Texico (20-1) turned back Tularosa 25-20, 25-22 and Laguna Acoma 25-22, 25-15 in Class 3A Pool A. The Lady Wolverines face Mesilla Valley in a 1:15 p.m. quarterfinal today at the Star Center.

“We didn’t play with a lot of energy,” Lady Wolverines coach Kristen Scanlan said. “We’ll need to play better in the quarterfinals. Mesilla Valley’s big, and they’ve got some girls who can hit the ball.”