KINGMAN – The Lee Williams High School volleyball team has experienced quite a roller coaster over the last month. Hopefully the worst is over and the Lady Vols are entering a smoother ride after they notched their first sweep since Sept. 6 in a 3-0 win (25-18, 25-16, 25-23) over No. 31 ranked Buckeye.
“That felt really good to get it done in three, especially because we usually get it done it five and we take forever,” junior Lorelei Fernandez said. “It helps boost our confidence a little bit from the rough patches we’ve been through so far.”
No. 25 ranked Lee Williams (7-6, 4-5 4A Grand Canyon Region) pulled away late in the first two sets, but it was a different story in the third.
The Lady Vols took – what appeared to be – an insurmountable 11-3 lead to force a Lady Hawks timeout. But then the momentum quickly shifted and Buckeye rallied back to inch within one, 20-19.
“It’s just part of having a young team – knowing that you have to play your best the entire set,” said Lee Williams head coach Riley Blake. “You can’t just give them a couple (of points) because they can fight back. You could see that in the third set – Buckeye did a great job at fighting back. They never lost hope and that’s awesome. That’s what we’re working on as well.”
The Lady Vols showed they could dig deep and find that extra boost by finishing off the Lady Hawks. While it was a little close for comfort, Lee Williams held on for the two-point win and the sweep.
“We kind of just slowed down, but luckily we were able to pick it up again and figure it out,” Fernandez said. “It was good to get the win.”
The victory was far from easy though.
The Lady Hawks swooped in and took a 7-3 advantage in the first set, only to have the Lady Vols rally back to tie it 8-8. The back-and-forth battle continued until Lee Williams scored six straight points for a 20-14 lead it would never surrender.
The Lady Vols found themselves in an early 4-0 hole in the second set, but once again battled back and pulled away late for a 2-0 advantage in the match.
Lee Williams then finished off Buckeye in the third and it was a great end to a special night.
“The girls got to do the Pink Out and do this as a fun game,” Blake said. “They enjoyed it and I know everyone else enjoyed it too.”
Blake also made sure to mention who stepped up on the floor for the Lady Vols. The first-year Lee Williams head coach said Fernandez played aggressively, but there were a few more difference-makers.
“Brianna Portillo does a great job too,” Blake said. “She put the ball away when I asked her to. And Ashley Sahawneh – her blocks were there. That’s what we’ve been working on and she did it for us.”
The Lady Vols host fourth-ranked Flagstaff (13-1, 8-0) at 6 p.m. Wednesday and then travel to ninth-ranked Estrella Foothills (10-3, 5-0 4A Southwest) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
River Valley 3, Kingman 1
At River Valley, the Kingman High School volleyball team couldn't get past the No. 34 ranked Lady Dust Devils Tuesday in a 3-1 loss (19-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-22).
The 40th-ranked Lady Bulldogs (0-14, 0-8 3A West Region) host No. 10 ranked Page (5-3, 3-2 3A North Region) at 5 p.m. Thursday.
At Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course, Kingman High’s Hayden Tanner shot a 4-over 40 to take first place Tuesday as the Bulldogs took third as a team with a 34-over 178.
Matthew Mendez was the next Kingman finisher in a tie for seventh at 9-over 45, followed by Camaron Haller in ninth (10-over 46) and Coleton Padilla and Kaelib Miller in a tie for 10th (11-over 47).
Meanwhile in other action at Cerbat Cliffs, Wyatt Talk led Lee Williams with a 7-over 43 to tie for fifth. Barret Fulton and Robert Glushenko were the next Vols finishers in a tie for 12th at 26-over 62, while Andrew Rucker was 14th at 39-over 75.