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State volleyball revs up Thursday

By Todd Fuqua

Three times, Corona’s volleyball team has had to face District 3-1A opponent Hondo. Three times, the Lady Cardinals have won.

Now they’ll be facing them a fourth time, this time in pool play at the Class 1A State tournament in Rio Rancho.

“That should be close, and I don’t think anyone will completely knock anyone else out,” said Corona coach Amanda Dunlap. “But with pool play, you never know. Sometimes teams can surprise you.”

Corona – seeded 7th – and Hondo – 11th – have been idle since the district championship on Nov. 3, preparing for a fast-and-furious pool play schedule at Rio Rancho High School that throws them in with No. 2 seeded Melrose starting Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

Carrizozo is in the post season as well, seeded 6th after winning District 2-1A and in a pool with Cimarron and Santa Fe Waldorf. Their matches are also at Rio Rancho High, starting at 1 p.m.

Bracket play begins at 5:45 p.m.

Dunlap said she was a bit surprised with her team’s seeding, given how they had swept through the district season unbeaten and claimed the district title with a three-game sweep of Hondo in the championship match.

“I can kind of understand, looking at strength of schedule and things like that, why we’re seeded seventh,” Dunlap said. “I guess what surprised me was that there are three from that district seeded one, two and four.”

“That district” is District 4-1A, which features Melrose at 2, Grady at 5 and six-time defending State champion Elida at No. 1.

“With Melrose, I honestly don’t know what to expect, since I haven’t seen them play,” Dunlap said. “But the best we can do is just go play our game, and see where we’ll end up.”

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