RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The high school volleyball season wrapped up on Saturday. The state championships took place at the Rio Rancho Event Center, and there were a few upsets along the way.
Top ranked Las Cruces lost earlier in the tournament, but thanks to the double elimination format, the Dawgs clawed all the way back to the championship game. Third ranked Cibola was on the other side of the title match, but LC was able to make quick work of the Cougs, winning in four sets. While Las Cruces has been a contender in recent years, this win marks the program’s first championship since 2001.
“This was our 4th final in the last 15 years, but winning it for us that is a testimete to the work that we have put in, to the work that my seniors have put in,” said Bulldawgs head coach Keith Leupold.
Albuquerque private school rivals Academy and St. Pius X dueled for the 4A crown. The third ranked Sartans took out the top two seeds to reach the championship, and finished things off with a win in three sets over the 4th ranked Chargers. This is the 8th overall title for Pius.
“It’s quite the blessing, you know I have 4 seniors that I couldn’t want it more for, but I am just so excited that a majority of this team is coming back and just have more and more shots throughout the future, but this one feels good, we worked hard,” Sartans head coach Jordan Russell said.
Santa Fe Indian school played in the state championship for the first time in program history, but the Lady Braves ran into defending state champion, St. Michael’s, for the title. The Lady Horsemen were able to close things out in three sets for the school’s 4th blue trophy.
Powerhouse Texico proved why they are a perennial contender for the title with a win 3-1 win over Tularosa. The win extends the Wolverines state lead in state titles to 17 overall.
In a rematch of last year’s title game, Melrose met up with Gateway Christian. The Warriors came out victorious last year, but the Buffaloes were out for revenge this time around. Melrose got the three-set sweep and added a 9th blue trophy to the trophy case.