The Lady Longhorns will take a three seed into the East Region volleyball tournament when it tips off tomorrow, Nov. 1, at Show Low High School.
Payson earned the bronze-medal seed by virtue of its 6-4 region record (11-7-1 overall). The top seed into the tournament goes to the Snowflake Lobos who finished 9-1 in the East. Although the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets also finished 9-1, the team was relegated to a second seed by a region tiebreaker.
The first tiebreaker was based on the winners of head-to-head games.
Since the Lobos and Jackets split their two meetings, the tiebreaker moved to power points.
Snowflake is No. 6 in power rankings and Blue Ridge sits at No. 8, so the Lobos received the first seed and BR the second.
Trailing Snowflake, BR and Payson in the final region standings were Round Valley, No. 4, 3-7; Show Low, No. 5, 2-8; and Alchesay, No.6, 1-9.
The Lady Horns’ first appearance in the tournament will be 11 a.m. tomorrow against Round Valley.
If Payson should emerge victorious, the team would play again that same day at 3:30 p.m.
The opponent would probably be Blue Ridge since the Yellow Jackets play the winner of a pigtail game between Show Low and cellar-dweller Alchesay in the opening round.
Snowflake has a bye all the way to the tournament finals. The gold-medal game will be played at 5 p.m.
If Payson can get past Round Valley and and also its second round foe, most likely the Jackets, the Lady Horns could give the talented Lobos a run for the gold.
The two teams met Oct. 28 in Wilson Dome for a regular-season-ending East clash.
Although Payson lost convincingly, 3-1, in the two team’s first meeting on Oct. 8, the Lady Horns put on a solid showing in the second, extending the match to five games.
After losing the first game, 25-16, Payson rebounded to win the second by the same identical score.
Snowflake took the third 25-20, but the Lady Horns won the fourth, 30-28. In the rubber game, the Lobos nipped Payson 15-10.
At the culmination of the East tournament, the Lady Horns can earn a berth to the 16-team state shoot-out one of two ways.
The first is to finish at least third in the final standings of the regional tournament. If the Lady Horns fall short of third, they could go on power points.
Payson is almost a shoo-in on power points because the team currently sits in 11th place among the 28 schools in the 3A conference.
Of course, the team members want the highest power ranking possible to help gain a more advantageous position in the state bracket.
The pursuit of the school’s first volleyball title begins Nov. 7 at either Prescott High School, Bradshaw Mountain High School or Glassford Hills Middle School.
The championship will be played at 6 p.m., Nov. 8 at Prescott High.
During both the region and state tournaments, the Lady Horns have five seasoned veterans to buoy the team. They include Jenna Robertson, Rose Hardt, Cydney Figueroa, Desi Burris and Kristin Remonda.
Robertson is among the top-five East leaders in hitting, kills, aces and blocks.
Figueroa is top-five ranked in aces and assists, while Hardt is among the region leaders in hitting.
Burris leads the East in aces and Remonda is second-ranked in digs.