Wickenburg High School’s Shelby Jenkins dives in an attempt to make a save as Jaden Ritch (1) and Alexa Murillo react during the Lady Wranglers’ 3-1 loss to River Valley on Thursday, Oct. 3 at WHS.
By Kevin Cloe
One more chance for a victory in region play comes Thursday, Oct. 10, when the Wickenburg High School girls volleyball team hosts Kingman.
The Lady Wranglers will face the Lady Bulldogs for the first time this year with hopes of pulling out of the 3A West Region standings cellar and picking up their first dual match win of the 2019 season.
They reached the halfway point in region competition last week after being shut out by highly ranked Northwest Christian and falling to Colorado River rival River Valley in four sets.
For Coach Terri Davidson and her girls, it’s been a tough season. Their only win this year came against San Manuel in the Payson Invitational Tournament last month, but they have dropped all 12 of their dual matches (and the first five of their 10 matches in region play).
“Oh my … it’s been a real teaching experience,” sighed Coach Davidson when assessing those results, adding that the remainder of the season will be an opportunity for her younger players to see more time on the court.
Her 12-girl varsity roster consists of five seniors, with the majority of the team (four juniors, two sophomores, and one freshman) expecting to try again next year — along with an improving junior varsity unit.
The Lady Wranglers had a chance to pick up their first dual match and region win last week when they hosted River Valley, which had been sitting right above them in the West Region standings. They struggled through the first two sets, losing by scores of 25-13 and 25-14, but battled back to capture the third set in overtime, 27-25.
In that nail-biter, they took the early lead 8-5 behind the serving of sophomore Kaizley Davidson and opened up a six-point cushion, 15-9, with senior Sadie White holding serve. But two hits out of bounds and a couple defensive lapses allowed the Lady Dust Devils to tie the score at 16.
The Lady Wranglers then found themselves three points behind at set point, 24-21, when they took advantage of three River Valley errors to send the set into overtime. With a one-point lead, 26-25, libero Madison Lussi’s serve that skimmed the net couldn’t be returned in bounds by the Dust Devils — securing the 27-25 set win.
That celebration was short lived, however, when the WHS girls lost the first 11 points of the fourth set and eventually surrendered in a 25-4 set and match loss.
After returning from a rematch at River Valley this Friday night, Coach Davidson’s girls will close out the season with three home matches — against Kingman Academy next Monday, Oct. 14; Northwest Christian on Wednesday, Oct. 23; and a non-region outing against Arizona College Prep on Senior Night (Thursday, Oct. 24) — before ending their season at Kingman on Tuesday, Oct. 29.