The Los Lunas Tigers made some noise at the state volleyball tournament this past week despite being the last team in the tournament, but ultimately fell short of repeating as state champions.
St. Pius X, the No. 1 team in the field, knocked the Tigers out on Saturday morning with a 3-0 victory that put the Sartans into the semifinals on their way to the championship.
The Tigers were at risk of being eliminated throughout the tournament after falling in straight sets to Albuquerque Academy in their first match on Thursday morning. Bumped to the contenders bracket with the other teams who fell in their first match.
After Santa Teresa upset Artesia on Thursday night, the Tigers were faced with trying to knock off the No. 3 seeded Bulldogs to stay alive.
The 18-6 Bulldogs took the first set 25-17 over LLHS and looked showed early why they were so highly ranked. However, the Tigers came back and won sets two and three by scores of 25-19 and 25-16, respectively.
The fourth set was much closer, as AHS battled back from a 6-1 Tiger lead at the start as well as a 16-13 deficit to tie the match at 21 all.
Control of the set seemed to slip out of the Tigers grasp, and the Bulldogs fought back to tie match at two sets apiece and force game five with a 25-23 win.
Los Lunas was able to eliminate some of the mistakes that did the team in during the fourth set and were able to lead nearly wire-to-wire en route to a 15-12 victory that set up a meeting with Silver that night.
The matchup with the Colts started about an hour late and similar to that morning’s match against Artesia, the Tigers got off to a slow start. Silver took set one easily, 25-19.
LLHS hurt themselves with unforced errors, a trend that continued until midway through the second set. LLHS called a timeout down 15-12 and from there went on to tie the match up at 20 and forced a timeout from Silver.
The Tigers were able to complete the rally and win the set 25-23. LLHS outscored SCHS down the stretch 13-8 to level the match at one set each.
In set three, the Tigers were up 12-5 early on before they let Silver back into things.
The two teams traded points down the stretch and overtime was required to determine a winner as neither team could the required two point lead.
LLHS finally took the set 33-31 after multiple set points were fought off on both sides and took a 2-1 lead.
Set four was another close one and Silver lead 18-16 before the Tigers took the lead at 20-19. LLHS went on to win 26-24 on a service ace to advance to the matchup with St. Pius.
Saturday morning, hardly more than 12 hours after the previous match, LLHS took to the court again to face off against the Sartans.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the match followed the pattern of the three previous contests between the two as LLHS narrowly lost the first two sets, 25-21 and 25-22 before the eventual state champions took them down 25-17 in the third to end their season.
The Tigers finish the year with a 15-12 record overall and 6-2 in district.