Elks win fourth straight 3A volleyball title

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Volleyball roundup: Sartans, Storm take state championships

By The Staff

The Pojoaque Elks earned their fourth consecutive Class 3A volleyball title in impressive fashion Saturday night.
The Elks lost just one set in their run in the playoffs, held at Rio Rancho last week, including topping the Ruidoso Warriors 25-15, 18-25, 25-18, 25-14.
Pojoaque (19-5) started off slow this year by its standards, losing three of four, including an early season contest against Los Alamos, but won five in a row following its slow start, taking the Piedra Vista Invitational and finishing second behind Piedra Vista in the Tournament of Champions.
In its tournament run, Pojoaque won Pool B Thursday, then defeated Lovington 25-9, 25-16, 25-18 and Portales 25-8, 25-21, 25-9 Friday to advance to the championship match.
Pojoaque has lost just 10 matches during its impressive state title run. It was a perfect 25-0 in 2011 and lost just one set the entire year, that against Los Alamos in its first match of the season.
Only Texico (2006-2011), Hot Springs (1987-1993) and West Mesa (1988-1992) have had longer consecutive championships streaks than the Elks. Texico’s reign over Class 2A was snapped Saturday, falling in the championship match to Bosque School, 3-1.
Pojoaque’s former head coach, Brian Ainsworth, who led the Elks to three of those state titles, steered the Cleveland Storm to a Class 5A tournament win this year.
The Storm (22-2) breezed through the 5A bracket, not losing one set the entire way. They knocked off La Cueva 25-17, 25-13, 25-22 in the championship round.
Cleveland senior Cassie House had 21 spike kills and Courtney Lawson finished with 10, nearly equaling the total of the entire La Cueva team.
The Storm’s losses both came early in the season to El Paso, Texas, teams Franklin and Americas.
In the Class 4A championship, St. Pius X defeated No. 1 seed Piedra Vista in a back-and-forth contest, 3-2.
It was a breakthrough for the Sartans (18-9), who had finished as the 4A runner-up each of the last four seasons. Their last state title came in 2003.
St. Pius knocked Los Alamos out of the state tournament Friday night for the fifth straight year with their 3-0 victory.