Sports Stories

The Sedona Red Rock High School volleyball team had a busy week, playing seven matches in three days, going 5-2 along the way, from Thursday, Sept. 14 to Saturday, Sept. 16.

The Scorpions [9-2] spent all three days in Phoenix, where they played at 2A Phoenix Christian High School on Sept. 14, and in the Wolves Classic tournament on Sept. 15 and 16.

“We served really well, except for one game,” Scorpions co-head coach Danni Barker said. “Overall we served well and our passing was good, too. It comes down to the setter-hitter connection.”

Red Rock connected in its sweep of 2A rival Phoenix Christian 3-0 [25-15, 25-12, 25-21] in the only best-of-five match of the week.

However at times during the tournament things were not so smooth.

Tournament matches are only best-of-three, and the Scorpions played maximum sets in their first match of pool play. They lost 1-2 to 4A Lee Williams High School, a disappointing defeat.

“We won the first set easily and then lost the next two,” Barker said. “It’s a match we shouldn’t have lost.”

The team bounced back to easily beat 5A Betty H. Fairfax High School in straight sets and rounded out pool play with another 2-0 win against host 4A Estrella Foothills High School.

Running a faster, execute-on-the-fly offense has had its up and downs as well. At times it works and other times it does not.

“There’s times where it’s beautiful and it’s exciting and then there’s times when it’s not even close,” said Barker, who added that it should improve with more repetitions setting and hitting at practice.

The loss to Lee Williams proved costly; Estrella Foothills beat Lee Williams, creating a three-way tie for first place in their group. Having the smallest margin of victory meant that the Scorpions took the third seed out of the group, and 10th overall in the championship bracket.

It also meant that they would have a tough matchup to open bracket play, in this case in the form of the 3A Odyssey Institute for Advanced and International Studies.

The Minotaurs swept Red Rock, but Barker recognized the opponent’s quality.

“They were a very good team, I don’t feel bad about it,” Barker said. “They were tall, they passed well, they set, they did everything right. They were smooth and played relaxed.”

The Scorpions again rebounded to pick up two victories in their final two matches of the tournament to take ninth overall.

They beat 2A Parker High School 2-1 and won 2-0 against 5A Lake Havasu High School.

After one day off and a recovery practice on Monday, Sept. 18, the team traveled to 1A Anthem Preparatory Academy on Tuesday, Sept. 19, where they were swept 3-0. It was the first loss of the season in a five-set match.

It next plays at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 at Chino Valley High School. The Scorpions defeated the Cougars 3-0 in their first match of the season on Aug. 29.


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