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Only one of the state’s 47 Division IV volleyball teams gets the privilege of holding the state championship trophy at the end of the year. Last year, it was Sedona Red Rock, but the Scorpions were not successful in their bid to defend their crown this season, losing 3-0 [25-23, 25-21, 25-18] to the Chandler Prep Titans in the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs on Friday, Nov. 8, at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott.

Shamina Thode dinks the ball over a double block while teammates DeVonne Ryter, Morgan Hawes and Mallory Lamparter wait for the rebound.The Scorpions had gone 15-2 in the regular season, losing only to this year’s state champion, the Northwest Christian Crusaders, and the state runner-up Falcons of Veritas Prep, entering the tournament as the No. 3-seeded team.

But an ankle injury to middle hitter Kendall Woellmer during practice in the week leading up to the tournament altered the team’s focus.

“It changed from, ‘What kind of things do we want to get better at?’ to finding a new middle [hitter] and working on getting her ready and making sure everybody knew where their assignments were,” Scorpions head volleyball coach John Parks said.

Freshman Sophia Perry replaced the sophomore Woellmer in the lineup. Parks said she did an outstanding job.

“But there’s probably a little bit of chemistry that you miss by not having a starter in that was there the whole year,” he said.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Nov. 13, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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