Lady Tigers first, BHS sixth in bracket at Santa Fe tournament

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Friday turned out to be a very rough day for two Valencia County high school volleyball teams that made the trip to the state capital for the Tournament of Champions, hosted by Santa Fe and Capital.

News-Bulletin file photo: Belen’s Keiana Sanchez-Chavez leaps on a block attempt in an early season match. The Lady Eagles placed sixth in the silver bracket at a Santa Fe tournament last weekend, and will host the Los Lunas Lady Tigers for the District 6-4A opener Tuesday, Oct. 2.

After a disastrous pool play Friday, Los Lunas won the silver bracket championship. Belen took sixth place in the same bracket.

Los Lunas was to host Atrisco Heritage on Tuesday in a match scheduled for after News-Bulletin press time and will visit Albuquerque High at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. Belen is idle until it hosts Los Lunas at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2.

Los Lunas (7-1) had a difficult schedule coming into the tournament with a 3-2 emotional win at Volcano Vista on Tuesday and a straight-set, but competitive, win over Del Norte the night before the tournament.

In Santa Fe, Both Belen and Los Lunas ended up in the Silver bracket. The bottom two teams from each four-team pool, while the top two teams from each pool went to the gold bracket.

Los Lunas went 1-5 in Pool B, edging St. Michaels for its only win. Belen placed fourth in Pool C.

Los Lunas beat Belen in three straight games to open the bracket play at Capital High on Friday night. The 25-14, 25-13, 25-17 Tiger win sent the two teams in opposite directions for Saturday’s final day of bracket action.

Los Lunas went on to capture the Silver bracket title with straight-set wins over Santa Fe Indian School and Santa Fe Prep.

The Tigers handled the Braves 25-17, 25-16 and 25-19 behind the hitting power of Teige Zeller and Natalie Baca. Baca had eight kills, while Zeller posted six. Katie Inman and Mykayla Moody had five each.

Los Lunas won the Silver title with a 25-18, 25-18 and 25-11 sweep of the Blue Griffins. Inman had 15 kills and Zeller added seven in the sweep.

Belen responded to the Los Lunas loss with a 3-2 win over Hot Springs in the consolation end of the silver bracket.

The Eagles won the first game 25-2, but then fell 25-13 to the Hot Springs Tigers. The teams split the next two games, but Hot springs won a tight 26-24 to force the final tiebreaker game.

Belen won the fifth game 15-6 to win the Hot Springs match. The Eagles fell by 25-18, 25-21 and 25-9 scores to St. Mikes in the fifth-place game of the bracket.


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.