By Nolberto Waddell
The Hayden High School Lady Lobo volleyball team won both of their scheduled matches last week but the victories did not come easy having to go the full five sets in both contests. The JV Lobo team had an easy time sweeping both their matches to stay undefeated in their seven games.
On Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Lady Miners of San Manuel were on the Lobo court for the first of the Lobos matches of the week. The JV Lobos took the court first playing good defense at the net and their serving was very good also behind Marlisse Perez who hit for seven service points and Devin Estrada who also contributed seven service points to put the Lobos ahead 20 to 11 after the first round of serving on their way to a 25 to 14 win in the first set. The second set was a repeat of the first with all of the Lobo JV players having a great game on the court, defensively, at the net and at the service line on their way to a 25 to 13 win of the set and a sweep of the match.
A lack of intensity by the Lobo varsity almost cost them their match against the Lady Miner volleyball team. The Lady Lobos came out strong in the first set playing good volleyball, moving, talking and taking advantage of their good play at the net to take the first set behind the strong serving of Melissa Islava, 25 to 16.
The second set was totally the opposite. They could not get their serves to land; they stopped playing good team volleyball and allowed the Lady Miners to take the second set 18 to 25 to tie the match at one set apiece.
The Lady Lobo style of play returned in the third set with their great movement, defense and play at the net and good serving taking an 18 to 10 lead after the first round of serves on their way to a 25 to 16 win to take a two set to one lead.
The fourth set was the most exciting. With the score 13 to 15 Miners after the first round of serving, Cassie Smith stepped to the service line and behind the help of her teammates put the Lady Lobos ahead 19 to 15. The Lady Miners would not go down fighting back giving the Lady Lobos all they could handle finally winning the fourth set to tie the match at two sets apiece to set up the fifth set.
The Lady Lobos had first serve but could not take advantage as each team took turns breaking each other’s service. With the score even at 10 to 10 after five players had gone to the service, Lobo libero player Alexis Felix went to the service line and behind the good play of her teammates hit for the final five points to win the set 15 to 10 and take the match three sets to two to improve their record to five wins and one loss.
The Lady Lobo volleyball team was on the road for their next match traveling to Globe to take on the Lady Tiger volleyball that had great support from the Tiger football team. The JV contest was an easy one for the Lady Lobo JV players having little trouble with the Tiger JV winning the first set 25 to 9 and in the second set took a commanding 18 to 8 lead cruising to a 25 to 15 second set win and a sweep of the match to keep a perfect record at seven wins and no losses.
The varsity match was something else with a loud, rowdy and disrupting Tiger football team behind every Tiger touch of the volleyball. It was obvious that the football team bothered the Lady Lobos as they were unable to get going on their usually hard serving trailing the Lady Tigers 8 to 14 after the first round of serving. The Lady Lobos composed themselves and started to fight back cutting the Tiger lead to 21 to 22 but could not put the game away again getting distracted finally losing 22 to 25.
The win made the football team even louder behind every touch of the volleyball by the Tiger team in the second set. All the yelling and disruption bothered the Lady Lobos but they fought back giving the Lady Tigers and the football team all they could handle finally losing the second set 23 to 25 to trail the Lady Tigers no sets to two.
The Lady Lobos would not buckle under the pressure put on them by the football team’s rudeness yelling out the server’s numbers as they were about to serve. The third set was close after one round of serving with the Lobos holding a slim 10 to 9 lead. The Tigers took a 10 to 11 lead with Cassie Smith going to the service line on the service break and with the help of her teammates quieted down the Tiger football team putting the Lobos ahead for good with five service points 16 to 11 on their way to a 25 to 20 third set win.
The rowdy Tiger team was at it again in the fourth set helping the Lady Tigers to a 9 to 9 tie after one round of serving before the Lady Lobos composed themselves and started to play their game on their way to a 25 to 18 win in the fourth set to tie the match at two sets apiece.
The yelling and hollering got even louder in the fifth set as the Lady Lobos fought their way to an 11 to 7 lead but it did not seem to bother the Lady Lobos as they cruised to a 15 to 10 win of the fifth set to win the match three sets to two. The Lady Lobos played a great match with so much disruption aimed at them. They held their composure and fought hard to win the match to improve their team record to six wins against one loss.
A report of the Lady Lobos trip to Florence on Saturday to play in the Florence Volleyball Tournament will be given next week. Also next week, the Lady Lobos are scheduled to play three matches with the only team to defeat them, the Miami High School Lady Vandals, who came to Lobo Gym yesterday. The outcome of that match was not known at press time. The Lady Lobos will travel to Kearny on Wednesday, Sept. 21, to take on their rivals, the Ray Lady Bearcats, with the JV teams on the court at 5 p.m. and the varsity contest following. On Thursday, Sept. 22, the Lady Lobos will be on the road again this time heading to Chandler for a varsity only match against a new school, Imagine Prep, starting at 5 p.m.
Come out and take in a match. This group of Lady Lobos are playing very good volleyball trying to earn a spot in the state tournament.