Navajo Prep takes ugly win over Desert Academy

Girls toss ball over net.

Navajo Times | Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi
Navajo Preparatory School freshman Hailey Martin (9) spikes the ball as Desert Academy’s Natalie Nathanson (99) attempts to block it during a match in Farmington on Tuesday. Navajo Prep beat Desert Academy, 3-2.


The Navajo Preparatory School volleyball team is not comfortable settling.

The Lady Eagles pulled off their first win of the season after they defeated Desert Academy 3-2 in sets 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 15-25, 15-13 on Tuesday.

While they were glad to finally get a win, they were not exactly satisfied with the fashion they used.

“We’re happy with the win and we’ll take it, but it wasn’t a win that we wanted,” Navajo Prep head coach Rainy Crisp said. “It is good to get a ‘W’ under the belt, it’s just a lot better when you play well.”

The Lady Eagles have struggled to work cohesively and consistently since the start of the season, and a lot of it showed with Desert Academy.

However, they showed promise in the first game when they came out charging and picked up an uncharacteristic first-set win 25-22 over the Lady Wildcats.

“We came out strong that first set; our passes were good, our front line was working very well, we were hitting the ball, and playing good defense,” Crisp said. “It was very opposite because we usually come out slow that first set.”

The two teams, which had met many times in the past, went back into their old rival ways and went back and fourth throughout the match.

The Lady Wildcats turned on the heat in the second set and came back for the win 25-21, and split the match 1-1.

Desert Academy head coach Natalie Passalacqua said her team didn’t exactly prepare for Navajo Prep, but had an idea of what to expect.

Passalacqua said after a long bus ride to Farmington, her team settled in and won the second set.

“When you drove four hours it’s hard,” she said. “I knew they had their Number 11 (Martinique Larvingo); she’s a great hitter, and is the only thing I knew. So, I told my big girl … and whoever was up front with her, ‘You got to focus on her.’ That pretty much was our game plan.”

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Categories: Volleyball

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at or via cell at (505) 686-0769.