State volleyball tourney opens today

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RHS, Mora seek championship glory

By Dave Kavanaugh

Volleyball teams representing Robertson and Mora begin their quests for state championships today.

Robertson (13-9) is the seventh seed in the Class 3A state tournament after making it to the district final vs. Pojoaque. The Lady Cardinals were to play No. 1 Ruidoso, No. 6 Hope Christian, and No. 12 Cuba this morning in pool play.

Those matches and others in Class 3A were to take place beginning 8 a.m. today at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

No. 2 Pojoaque, No. 5 Portales, No. 8 Wingate and No. 11 Lovington are in Pool B. And No. 3 St. Michael’s, No. 4 Hatch Valley, No. 9 Bloomfield and No. 11 Crownpoint are in Pool C.

Pool play consists of abbreviated matches (two games to 21 points each) waged to determine seeding in bracket play, which begins Thursday for all classifications.

The Mora Rangerettes (17-5) open Class 2A pool play 3 p.m. today at the University of New Mexico’s Johnson Center. Mora is in Pool A alongside Rehoboth, Texico and Estancia. Navajo Prep, Peñasco, Mesilla Valley and Clayton are competing in Pool B.

Depending on its seeding, Mora will play at either 5 or 6:45 p.m. Thursday in the tournament quarterfinals. Semifinals will be held at 10 a.m. and noon Friday, and the championship is set for 1 p.m. Saturday. All Class 2A matches will be held at the Johnson Center.

Should Robertson earn a top-four seed, it would receive a first-round bye and begin bracket play Thursday afternoon. Otherwise, the team would play Thursday morning (8 or (9:45 a.m.) with hopes of reaching the afternoon. Thursday matches for Class 3A will be staged at the Star Center. Action shifts to Johnson Center on Friday, with semifinals set for 2 and 4 p.m. The Class 3A final is 11 a.m. Saturday.

Led by coach Raynee Trujillo, the Lady Cardinals made a remarkable run in the 2007 state tourney, reaching the final before falling to Portales. Returning most of the players from that team, RHS could be one of the more dangerous teams in the draw.

Mora, coached by Leslie Vigil, won its fourth district title and punched its return ticket to state by beating Questa 23-25, 25-19, 10-25, 25-17, 15-10.

The Rangerettes were missing two starters for alleged school athletic rules violations.