By Kevin Cloe
Still searching for their first dual match victory of the season, Wickenburg High School’s girls volleyball team plays at home in two of their final three contests of the 2019 season.
They host defending region champion Northwest Christian at 6 p.m. today (Wednesday, Oct. 23) in their next-to-last 3A West Region contest and then will honor the five seniors on the team Thursday night, Oct. 24 in a 6 p.m. non-region battle against visiting Arizona College Prep.
The five honorees on Senior Night will include Shelby Jenkins, Alexa Murillo, Jeri Rainey, Jaiden Ritch and Sadie White.
After this week’s two home contests, the Lady Wranglers will wrap up their 2019 season with a road trip to Kingman at 6 p.m. next Tuesday, Oct. 29.
They are hoping they can finish the season picking up at least one victory to avoid being blanked in their 18 dual matches the season. They did pick up an abbreviated tournament win against San Manuel earlier this season, but the Arizona Interscholastic Association doesn’t count tournament matches in its standings and rankings. In their 3A West Region battles, the Lady Wranglers started this week at 0-8, with the best chance of a win being against Kingman next week. Northwest Christian is undefeated (in fact, haven’t lost a single set) in region play this season — ranked No. 3 among the 41 teams in the 3A Conference. Arizona College Prep is undefeated in the 3A Metro East Region at 5-0 and is ranked No. 8 in the 3A Conference with a season record of 17-7.
Kingman, meanwhile, has a 3-4 record in the 3A West Conference and an 11-16 mark for the season — ranked No. 35 (compared to the Lady Wranglers’ No. 40 ranking). In their earlier region contest, the Lady Wranglers pushed the Lady Bulldogs to four set — winning the second set 26-24 after losing the first one 25-10 and then dropping the final two 25-12 and 25-17.
In their latest home match against Kingman Academy early last week, Coach Terrie Davidson’s girls challenged the 26th-ranked Lady Tigers in all three sets but fell 25-20, 25-18 and 25-21.
In the first set of that match, the Lady Wranglers jumped out to an 8-4 lead but then gave up 11 of the next 13 points to trail by five. They pulled to within three points behind Rainey’s serving, and then winning spikes by White and sophomore Kaizley Davidson pressured the Lady Tigers at 24-20 before the visitors locked up the set win with the final point.
Davidson’s serving and a key blocked shot at the net by freshman Javen Coppedge put the Lady Wranglers ahead in the second set 4-0, and the serving of White and an overhead bump by Ritch expanded that lead to 8-2. Kaizley’s kill shot eventually gave the Lady Wranglers a 14-10 lead but Kingman Academy rallied for six of the next seven points to take the lead and pull away.
The third set was close, with the two teams tied at 13-13, before Academy opened a five-point lead en route to the final four-point set win.