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Prep Volleyball: Lady Tigers start region play with a 3-0 win over Kingman High

Kingman Academy’s Isabella Anderson tallied nine kills in a sweep of Kingman High. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

Kingman Academy’s Isabella Anderson tallied nine kills in a sweep of Kingman High. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

KINGMAN – When the Kingman Academy and Kingman high school volleyball teams battled in the past, the contest didn’t have much meaning other than city bragging rights.

That’s no longer the case.

The Lady Tigers are now in the 3A West Region and picked up their first region win Thursday in a 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-12, 25-17) of Kingman High at KHS.

“I didn’t even think about it as a region match,” said Academy head coach Bill McCord. “We play Kingman High in everything, every year. So I didn’t even realize that, ‘Hey, we got a region win.’ It’s nice to have that win.”

The Lady Tigers (4-1, 1-0 3A West Region) controlled the tempo for most of the night, but the Lady Bulldogs (0-7, 0-2 3A West Region) did battle down the stretch.

“I’m very proud of them,” said Kingman head coach Sheila Bealer. “They were competitive and they played really hard. They kept their energy up and they didn’t give up. They fought until the end. I can’t be upset with that.”

The closet set of the night was the third, despite the Lady Tigers jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead. That was short-lived, however, as the Lady Bulldogs battled back to tie it on multiple occasions. Kingman even bounced back from a 9-5 deficit to knot it at 10-10.

But Academy eventually found a spark and never looked back after taking a 15-11 advantage.

“We definitely got our groove in the third set,” said Academy senior Grace Herbine. “We’re really in sync as a team.”

That was a good sign for the Lady Tigers, as McCord used a different game plan to test the team’s depth.

“Normally I play my straight eight,” McCord said. “I put five extra girls in tonight because we have had some injuries. They did well. I was very pleased with them. They fit right in and the rotations went well. A little bit of confusion, but it wasn’t bad.”

Academy is back in action at 6 p.m. Tuesday as it travels to Lake Havasu (6-1), while the Lady Bulldogs welcome River Valley (2-5, 0-1 3A West Region) to town Tuesday for a 6 p.m. contest.

“The girls expect a lot of themselves, as they should, but we’re trying to figure out how to push through it and keep fighting and get that first win,” Bealer said. “We still have half a season left and I have a lot of hope for us. I think that we’ll get it. It’s just working together to fight through.”