ALBUQUERQUE — Fort Sumner ended Grady’s first trip to the 1A state volleyball tournament since 1996 on the first day, sweeping the Lady Bronchos 25-12, 25-16, 25-8 in the quarterfinals Thursday at Del Norte High School.
The Vixens (21-3) didn’t lose a game all day, earning the top seed out of Pool A after sweeping two-game matches against Logan, Animas and Jal. At the other end of the spectrum, the Lady Bronchos (18-3) didn’t win a game facing Des Moines, Mesilla Valley and Tatum in Pool B.
Fort Sumner senior Leslie Wood dished 32 assists, with Kayla Britain knocking down 15 kills and Sandy Fortner 12.
Fort Sumner coach Lisa McMath said her team overpowered the Lady Bronchos with their hitting.
Heather Blackburn led Grady with four kills. Jennifer Blackburn and Taris Pond posted three kills.
The Vixens face Des Moines in the semifinals at 7 p.m. at Del Norte. The Lady Demons dispatched Logan 25-17, 22-25, 25-16, 25-15.
“We’re definitely going to have to step up our play tomorrow,” McMath said.
Even though Fort Sumner swept Des Moines at regionals, McMath is still wary of the three-time defending state champion Lady Demons.
“They’ve adjusted and they’re starting to hit the back row when they don’t have a good pass,” McMath said of Des Moines, which has a pair of middle blockers over 5-foot-10. “Our job is to make sure we don’t give them something easy.”
Jal beat Mesilla Valley and Tatum defeated Animas to advance to the other semifinal, which is at 5 p.m.