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The Sedona club volleyball team in the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball seems to be always the bridesmaid, never the bride, but placing second in the state for the second year in a row is certainly nothing to cry over.

the sedona juniors 16 team of the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball pose with coach Julie Mai, left, after winning second place in the regional championship tournament at the end of April. Top Row from left: Coach Julie Mai, Morgan Andrews, Mollie Brackin, Jillian Ziebell, Kendall Woellmer, Mallory Lamparter, Shelby Brackin. Bottom row from left: Shamina Thodé, Kylie Capite, Hannah Johnson.The Sedona Juniors 16 team coached by Julie Mai was seeded No. 1 going into the regional championship tournament at the end of April. Of the six regional tournaments they played this club season, the girls won four, took second in one and fourth in one, but the Starlings of Shadow Mountain ended their championship run in the very last moments.

The highlight of the tournament for Sedona was beating the Flagstaff High School team and running the show pretty much the rest of the day until the final game. Against the Starlings’ athletic girls, Sedona was evenly matched.

The two teams had faced each other twice during the regular season and split victories. Sedona had beaten Shadow Mountain right before the championship tournament, handing them their only loss of the season.

But Shadow Mountain’s firepower in the final match was too much for Sedona in the end, and they lost the game and first place title in three sets.

“We were all super excited [seeded No. 1 going into the tournament]. We worked all season to win the last tournament,” Sedona player Morgan Andrews said. “We were cocky, though, going in. That [final] loss was the worst feeling I could’ve had.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 15, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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