ALBUQUERQUE — So far, so good for the Texico and Fort Sumner volleyball teams in state competition.
Both advanced to semifinal play with three-game sweeps on Thursday at the University of New Mexico’s Johnson Center — Texico beating Penasco 25-11, 25-11, 25-12 in Class 2A and Fort Sumner rolling over Tatum 25-5, 25-15, 25-22 in Class 1A.
Third-ranked Texico (21-2), seeking a third consecutive 2A title, faces top-ranked Mesilla Valley, a 25-18, 25-21, 25-22 winner over Rehoboth, in a 10 a.m. semifinal today. The 2A title match will be at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Fort Sumner (21-1) will meet Magdalena at noon today in the 1A semifinals. Magdalena got past Carrizozo 25-21, 26-24, 25-23 on Thursday.
Texico took advantage of its front-row strength to dominate Penasco (17-6). The Lady Wolverines got eight kills and two blocks from freshman Jordyn Cooper and six kills and two blocks from her twin sister, Jaylyn.
All told, five Texico players had at least six kills.
“We watched Penasco yesterday (in pool play), and we knew they were very scrappy and got a lot of things up on defense,” Texico coach Kristen Scanlan said. “But we felt we could take advantage of their single block. With the offense we run, it’s hard to single-block us.”
Junior outside hitter Victoria Richards, one of three returning players to start on each of the two championship teams, said the team was active against the Lady Panthers.
“We were very scrappy and picked up a lot of balls,” said Richards, who had six kills and three digs. “The biggest thing was we had more energy (than Wednesday), and most of that comes from knowing that not everyone gets this chance.”
Abigail Soto, a 6-foot freshman middle hitter, had five kills and three blocks for Penasco.
Fort Sumner, ranked No. 1 in 1A, dominated the first two games before falling behind 7-1 in the third. The Vixens led 20-17, fell behind 22-20 and then scored the final five points to end it.
“I think Tatum might’ve been a little intimidated, but they calmed down and played us well,” Vixens coach Lisa McMath said. “Coach (Mike) Majors did a good job adjusting to what we were doing.”
Senior middle blocker Bree Lucero had 14 kills for the Vixens, while sophomore outside hitter Sarah Stinnett added eight kills and 17 digs and senior outside hitter Racheal Chavez collected seven kills, 14 digs and five aces.
“We relaxed a little bit,” McMath said of the third-game struggles. “We started to play too conservatively, and that’s not what you need.”
In another 1A quarterfinal, Floyd was eliminated in a 16-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-23 loss to Roy. The Lady Longhorns will face Animas in today’s early semifinal at 10 a.m.