Greyhills Academy, Shonto Prep hope to make state playoffs

Greyhills Academy, Shonto Prep hope to make state playoffs
Players reach over net

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Shonto Prep’s Carlene Benally goes up to hit the ball during a game against Greyhills Academy High School on Friday in Joseph City, Ariz.


It’s crunch time for Shonto Prep and Greyhills Academy.

With two weeks left in the regular season, both squads are trying to secure their spots for next month’s Arizona Class 1A state volleyball tournament.

The 16-team state bracket will consist of 10 automatic bids and six at-large qualifiers based on the final Arizona Interscholastic Association power rankings.

For teams representing the 1A North Region, the regular season champion and the region tournament winner will receive automatic bids. In the event that the regular season conference champion wins the 1A North regional tournament, the runner-up from the regional tournament will be the second automatic qualifier.

“We have a good chance of going to state,” Shonto Prep head coach Justice Beard said. “We’re more than halfway through the season but I feel we have a good season standings.”

As a way to prep for the final two weeks of the regular season, both squads took part in the Joseph City Invitational over the weekend with the Greyhills Academy Lady Knights finishing second in their pool while the Shonto Prep Lady Grizzlies took fourth.

In bracket play action, Shonto Prep defeated Red Mesa and Hopi for the consolation championship.

To make it as an at-large bid, Beard said they have to take care of business down the stretch.

“After Rock Point we have three conference games left and we need to finish strong,” he said.

Greyhills Academy coach Richard Grey shared that same outlook as the Lady Knights were ranked No. 20 in Tuesday morning’s ranking.

“It’s important for us to make some final adjustments,” Grey said. “I have players that are willing and able to do that. I look forward to the last part of the season.”

Like Beard, the Greyhills Academy coach said they also need to finish strong and improve their overall record of 6-7. In conference play, the Knights are 6-4 overall.

“Hopefully that will happen,” Grey said. “Hopefully that will increase our chances of being at state.”

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Categories: Volleyball

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at