Senior Shelby Jenkins successfully digs and bumps the ball to a teammate during the Lady Wranglers’ three-set loss to visiting Bourgade Catholic last week. Watching and ready to assist is senior libero Jeri Rainey.
By Kevin Cloe
With a crowded early schedule behind it, Wickenburg High School’s girls volleyball team will now concentrate on the second half of its season this week.
The three-a-week match schedule to start the season hasn’t been kind to the Lady Wranglers, who lost their first eight dual contests and went one-for-three on the first day at the Payson Tournament last weekend (second-day results were not available at press time).
They opened the second half of their season earlier this week against winless Coronado and host a formidable Gilbert Christian team at 6 p.m. Thursday before starting a string of region games with a trip to Northwest Christian on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
They resume 3A West Region action in seven of their last eight matches, hoping to at least duplicate their five victories in their final seven contests last year en route to a 7-17 season record.
Their hectic three-a-week early schedule slows down to two-a-week match pace the rest of the season.
This past week, Coach Terrie Davidson’s girls suffered their third and fourth consecutive shutout losses to hosting region foe Chino Valley and non-region visitor Bourgade Catholic.
In the latter game, the Lady Wranglers had a chance to win the first set — forcing the Lady Golden Eagles into an extended showdown.
Trailing by five points late in the set, 18-13, senior Sadie White held serve for five straight points and then drop shots from freshman Kolbee Davis and junior Megan Walters gave the Lady Wranglers an eventual 25-24 lead — needing only one more point to secure the set victory.
However, two consecutive service errors turned the ball over to the Bourgade girls, who then claimed victory with the required two-point margin, 27-25.
The Lady Wranglers battled to stay close early in both the second and third sets but lost both by identical scores, 25-17.
Even three dig saves by senior libero Jeri Rainey couldn’t keep the Lady Wranglers in contention late in the second set.
Then a winning spike by sophomore Kaizley Davidson and service holds by freshman Javen Coppedge and Walters gave Coach Davidson’s girls a 12-10 lead that quickly evaporated in the third set. The Lady Golden Eagles outscored the Lady Wranglers in the latter part of that third set, 15-5.