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The Scorpions volleyball team is playing at a very high level this season, with a 12-2 record and a No. 3 seeding in Arizona’s Division IV.

Mallory Lamparter and Morgan Hawes go up for a block in the Scorpions game against Scottsdale Prep.But because of past successes, including last season’s state championship, the bar is set pretty high for the team.

It could be argued that this year’s team has exceeded expectations considering that it returned only two players from last year’s team — co-captains Morgan Hawes and Mallory Lamparter — and only Hawes was in that team’s regular rotation.

But Flagstaff transfer DeVonne Ryter, who played middle hitter last season for the Division III state champion Eagles, has adjusted quickly to the outside hitter position, and several other Scorpions have made the jump up from the junior varsity to the varsity with surprising ease.

To the eye of Sedona Red Rock volleyball coach John Parks, however, there are still elements to the Scorpions’ game that need to improve, beginning with the accuracy of their passing.

“Almost 100 percent of it’s passing right now,” Parks said. “There’s a three- to five-foot window you want to pass that ball into, and sometimes we’re at seven — it’s not a big change, but we’re still not quite there yet.

“We want to play fast, and if you want to run a fast offense you’ve got to pass a little bit better.”

Parks said that Ryter and outside hitter Shamina Thodé have elevated their games recently and that has, in part, covered up the passing issues.

“That’s what [Ryter and Thodé] are there for, in case we’re not passing well. They’re doing their part, but if we can just pass the ones that we’re supposed to and get everybody else involved, that makes us a better team.”

For the full story, please see the Friday, Oct. 25, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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