A long season of peaks and valleys just may prove fruitful for the Kingman High volleyball team after the Bulldogs spoiled Goldwater's senior night in Phoenix on Thursday with 25-22, 26-28, 25-20, 25-22 win. The win for KHS has them sitting at No. 15 in the Arizona Interscholastic Class 5A-II rankings, which should be good enough to make the state playoffs.
However, the AIA has a history of making end of season corrections to its numbers, and along with a few regions holding tournaments, the Bulldogs' spot can't be counted on until the official brackets have been released.
"We were flat and let Goldwater into the match early," KHS coach Kasie Juelfs said. "But we managed to hold them off."
Lindsey Reed led KHS (9-8, 4-6) with 17 kills and six aces. Setters Hillary Acer and Rachelle Bullen combined for 25 assists, with Acer recording 14. "Both setters did a better job executing the offense and running plays," Juelfs said.
McKenzie Overson had 16 perfect passes and was 16-for-17 from the service line with two aces for the Bulldogs. "She got us out of a hole in Game 4 with seven serves and the two aces," Juelfs said.
In what should have been a night for good news, the Bulldogs had to deal with some bad news. Last week, junior Asena Light left the team because of a move to Alaska, and the Goldwater (1-16, 0-10) match was the last for sophomore Sara Reed. Reed had to move back to Ohio after posting seven kills Thursday. "The girls have been really sad over losing two good friends and teammates," Juelfs said.
Should the power rankings remain the same, KHS would travel to Tucson to take on No. 2 Ironwood Ridge (16-1) either Wednesday or Thursday. "Sometimes being the underdog has its benefits," Juelfs said. "We just need to go all out and stay loose. The pressure is on them. We need to go big or go home."
KHS has had two 3-game winning streaks and two 3-game losing streaks during its topsy-turvy season. "It has been tough on the girls mentally and physically to stay focused," Juelfs said. "But I am proud of them and of what they've accomplished this year."