Prep Volleyball: Lady Vols host Desert Edge Thursday in 4A play-in match
KINGMAN – The Lee Williams High School volleyball program has only been in existence for a short time, but that doesn’t take anything away from how far it has journeyed since the inaugural season.
The Lady Vols have already accomplished a number of program firsts in 2019 and added another to the list as they’ll host their first 4A Conference Play-In match at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against Desert Edge.
“I didn’t ever imagine that we’d be here, but the girls have really taken what I’ve tried to instill in them and ran with it,” said Lee Williams head coach Riley Blake. “It’s truly this team that I’m so proud of because they have worked their butts off to get here. They’re willing to put in the work and be there for each other and that’s why they are so successful.”
The No. 10 ranked Lady Vols concluded the 2019 regular season Tuesday night with a 3-0 sweep of Mingus to finish 13-5 overall, 8-4 in the 4A Grand Canyon Region – both program bests.
Now Lee Williams will look to keep it rolling against the No. 23 ranked Lady Scorpions (7-11, 3-5 4A West Valley Region).
“We are proud of the fact that we were able to continue moving forward and now we get to host our play-in match here at home,” Blake said. “It’s a great experience for the girls and the school. We’re hoping it goes well and we’re doing our best to prepare for it.”
And it could be a historic Halloween night as the Lady Vols could notch their first postseason win in program history,
However, Blake knows a big crowd is critical to accomplishing that goal.
“We’re hoping for a huge turnout and that the students can come and support us,” Blake said. “That really helps us out a lot and the girls love it. We’re trying to set that staple for Lee Williams and having that (home play-in match) experience is something that is really cool.”
The home court advantage should also pay off as the Lady Vols are 6-3 in their friendly confines and the setbacks are to Flagstaff, Bradshaw Mountain and Estrella Foothills.
Those three squads finished in the top eight of the final rankings and earned automatic bids to the 4A State Tournament, which starts Nov. 5.
“There are a lot of really great teams and if you’re looking at our region, a good chunk of them are in the top of the rankings,” Blake said. “The girls have played hard and I’m really proud of them. The No. 10 ranking is better than last year and the goal is to always improve on something every year. They really exceeded my expectations.”