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Sun, March 24

KHS sophomores answer call, contribute in win over Rattlers

By Rob Weiler

Miner Sports Writer

KINGMAN ­ A pair of slow starts did not hurt the Kingman High volleyball team when all was said and done at home on Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs used a balanced attack to take down the North Canyon High Rattlers in two games and stay unbeaten in region play, 25-20, 25-18.

"We just think this team is a little strange because they come in and they get it done," said Kingman head coach Amy West. "There's not a whole lot of hooting and hollering or anything like that. We're trying to get them to be more fiery and more excited, but maybe you can't coach that and maybe they don't need it."

Rachel Bracy, Kyrstin Stuart and Kristen Gonzalez each had five kills in the match to carry Kingman (8-2, 3-0) and keep the Rattlers guessing all night.

"It was nice to see the young kids get up and get some kills and give us some other options," West said.

While five kills could be considered an off-night for Bracy, Stuart and Gonzalez's contributions were a long-awaited bonus from the two sophomores. "Gonzo" earned her final kill on the last play of the match to culminate one of her best performances of the season.

"She (Gonzalez) seems a lot more confident, more comfortable, and she was hitting smart shots," West said. "And I keep telling Kyrstin 'Go after it. Be aggressive.' I think she finally got mad at me and just did it to get me off of her."

With Tristin Phillips out until at least Friday with a sprained ankle, Moe Logas and Blakely Phillips also filled big roles passing and setting against North Canyon.

After an early four-point run to tie game one at 8, Kingman hung tight and battled through four more ties before taking their first lead of the game at 18-17. Stuart and Gonzalez each had a kill to help the Bulldogs extend their lead to five and eventually win the game.

In game two, Kingman needed a quick time out to refocus after falling behind 5-0. But after clawing back into the game at 4-9, the Bulldogs won 10 of the next 11 points. Both teams went back and forth the rest of the game, as the Rattlers could never get within four points of the lead.

Despite the quick rebound from the team's first two losses of the season on Saturday, West said the win was more meaningful because of the North Canyon's resume, which includes a win against region-contender Goldwater.

Kingman plays again today against Lake Havasu for the second time this season. The Bulldogs won the first meeting on Sept. 31 in two games, but will be on the Knights' home floor this time.

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