Preparation for the state volleyball tournament had a decidedly somber tone this week in the Meadow City and beyond.
As news of the sudden death of West Las Vegas head coach Mary Bustos circulated around the community and beyond, the frivolities of sport took a back seat. At the same time, the state tournament also gathered additional attention from locals and others.
Bustos’ coaching staff and her husband David — West’s new boys’ basketball coach this winter — stepped up for the Lady Dons as they were to begin the tourney Thursday at Rio Rancho’s Santa Ana Star Center.
“There’s going to be an outpouring of affection for Mary at the Star Center (during the tournament),” said Pojoaque Valley assistant coach Mark Loera. “As there should be.”
Loera — a cousin to the Bustos clan on his mother’s side — and Pojoaque are the No. 3 seed in the 3A draw as the district champion from 2-3A.
WLV, the district runner-up, entered pool play as the No. 5 seed.
Robertson and coach Judith Trujillo started as the No. 10 seed.
The tourney continues through Saturday at the Star Center.
Meanwhile, Leroy Gonzalez’s Robertson football team (5-5) is in Portales this weekend for a rematch with the Rams (6-4) in the opening game of the Class 3A playoffs.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday.
Portales won 14-6 back on Aug. 30.
Winner gets No. 1 St. Mike’s next week in the quarterfinals.