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It was a bittersweet moment for three senior volleyball players at Sedona Red Rock High School on Wednesday night: bitter because it was the final home game of their high school careers, but sweet because they beat the rival Mingus Marauders and are headed to the Division IV state playoffs, which start next week, as one of the top seeds.

Seniors Morgan Hawes, Kylie Capite and Mallory Lamparter, from left, played the last home game of their high school volleyball careers on Wednesday, Oct. 30, against the Mingus Marauders.But despite their long history of competing together, Kylie Capite, Morgan Hawes and Mallory Lamparter aren’t living in the past: They are living in the present moment and are excited about the future.

Capite and Hawes played together as far back as eighth grade at Big Park Community School, while Lamparter and Capite played together on junior varsity squads for the Scorpions in their freshman and sophomore years. Hawes and Lamparter were both a part of the Scorpions’ state champion team last year and Capite joined them on the varsity this season.

All three girls agreed that this year’s team is special because of how well everyone gets along.

“We hang out with each other outside of volleyball just because we’re all friends,” Capite said.

Lamparter said all the Scorpions players have a group message on their phones and text each other all the time.
“I don’t think there’s anybody that couldn’t talk to anybody else about anything,” she said.

Hawes agreed that they are a team that gets along both on and off the court.

“Last year’s team, we’d get along on the court and then we’d go our separate ways and never talk to each other,” she said. “This team is so different, and that is really good and really helpful.”

It also helps the team that no one takes little criticisms personally, Lamparter said.

“Like saying, ‘Hey, you need to get your arm up,’ or ‘You need to move your feet,’” she said. “Because we’re friends and we understand that we’re just trying to help each other.”

Being the only three seniors on a team dominated by underclassmen, Hawes said their younger teammates often look up to them for leadership.

“Especially because we’ve been to state, we’ve done it,” she said. “So they kind of feed off of our experience.’
The fact that the three play different positions also helps, Lamparter said.

“We have a middle looking up to [Morgan], a setter looking up to me and passers looking up to [Kylie].”
“So we have an impact on all different sides of the court,” Hawes added.

With the bar set at state-championship level, the three all said they feel the pressure to meet that level with this year’s team, but they also feel like all the pieces are in place to make another state title run.

“We’re hoping to do it this year because we definitely have the talent,” Hawes said. “Last year we had the talent, but we had cliques and so we didn’t get along well. But this team, we have the talent and we all get along well. So we have that going for us.”

Even though she was a member of the team last season, Lamparter wasn’t in the regular rotation of players, but she said she looks forward to playing a much bigger role this year.

“Last year, during the state [championship], I wasn’t a part of it, but I was a part of it because I got to watch the whole thing,” she said. “This year, I’m really excited to be a big part of it.”

The Scorpions have worked hard to develop their team game throughout the season and Capite said she’s excited by the progress they’ve made.

“We’ve just been improving so much, and I think we really stepped it up a lot this last game,” she said.

To Lamparter, the team just took care of the things they needed to take care of.

“We actually fixed our problems; we did what we were supposed to do,” she said.

Hawes said there was a point in the season where the team’s performance leveled off, but she feels like they finally moved beyond that.

“We hit a point that we were kind of stuck and definitely tonight we just overcame that like no other,” she said, “And now we’re really ecstatic to be going into the playoffs.”

None of the three plans on pursuing volleyball in college, but all are definitely interested in furthering their academic careers.

Hawes plans on studying neuroscience “for the next 12 years,” she said. Lamparter wants to study wildlife biology or journalism at either Arizona State or Arizona, with the intention of eventually working for National Geographic magazine. Capite plans on going into nursing with an emphasis on pediatrics.

For the full story, please see the Friday, Nov. 1, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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