By Greg Perkins–
The Lady Wildcats of Joseph City headed into their own tournament last weekend with plenty of momentum after winning at Valley Sanders in an exciting five-game match on Tuesday.
The Lady Cats fell in the first game, 25-20.
“We had to make a last minute change in our personnel just before the match started. Our usual libero, Sara Solomon, filled in at setter for us and did well in a position she has never played before. We really missed her at libero where a great libero wins games, and she is a great libero,” said Coach Darrel Mosier.
Joseph City got as close as 23-20 late in the opening game of the match, but the Lady Pirates pulled away for the win.
Solomon returned to her normal position for the second game and the Lady Wildcats moved up freshman Krista Edwards to play setter.
“We were running an unusually complicated offense that Krista hadn’t practiced, but she was able to set hittable balls for our hitters. We ended the night with 46 kills,” continued the coach.
Joseph City again pulled close late in the match, trailing 20-19, but Valley took a two-game lead with a second 25-20 win. “We just made too many errors–touching the net, hitting out, bad passes, poor communication–mistakes that come from not enough time in the gym,” added Coach Mosier.
Facing a do or die game three, the Lady Wildcats adjusted to a simpler offense and re-adjusted in a couple of defensive areas. It proved effective, with the Cats earning a 25-21 win. Lexi Edwards served the game out with three straight points.
In the fourth game, Valley jumped out to a four-point lead and held that cushion at 16-12. Tori Baird then served four straight points, including two aces, to tie the game. The teams pushed each other to extended play before the Lady Cats eventually prevailed to force a fifth game with the 26-24 win.
Harlie Blosser, Kristen Baldwin and Edwards pounded the ball well. Blosser had 14 kills, while Baldwin and Edwards each had 11.
The fifth game and the match went to the Lady Wildcats with a 15-10 advantage, moving their power point record to 5-2 and placing them in 10th position heading into this week’s action.
Hosting their 20th annual volleyball tournament this weekend, the Lady Wildcats won the championship by defeating St. Michael in the title match in two games, 25-13 and 25-22.
The Lady Cats were 6-1 in their seven tournament matches. In pool play they defeated Seligman, 25-15, Many Farms, 25-22 and Grand Canyon, 25-13, and lost to Piñon, 25-24. In bracket play the Lady Cats took care of St. Johns, 25-18 and 25-15. Next up they beat Hopi 25-14 and 25-12 to earn a place in the championship match against St. Michael.
In Pool A, Hopi was first, followed by Williams, St. Johns, St. Michael, Ash Fork and Rock Point.
Piñon won Pool B, followed by Joseph City, Many Farms, Grand Canyon and Seligman.
Hopi defeated Williams to claim third place. St. Johns beat Many Farms to win the consolation bracket.
Joseph City placed three players on the all tournament team, including Baldwin, Blosser and Edwards. Joining them on the team were Samantha Hardy and Jayme Blakeddy of St. Michael, Brooke Namoki and Hayley Keith of Hopi, Marlen Murphy and Shaylee Leslie of St. Johns, Briana Clah and Kelsey Teller of Many Farms, Jillian Brown of Williams, Shelby Hanson of Ash Fork, Denitra Cowboy of Piñon, Tiffany Gamboa of Seligman and Cori Yazzie of Grand Canyon.
This week the Wildcats have just one match, which will be played on Friday, Sept. 30, at Rock Point.
Photo by Chari Blosser
The Lady Wildcats of Joseph City won the 19th annual Joseph City High School Volleyball Tourney held Sept. 23 and 24. The team includes (front row, left to right) Tori Baird, Harlie Blosser, Sara Solomon, (back row) Laura Parra, Assistant Coach Sheri Brennan, Jewell Plower, Krista Edwards, Kristin Baldwin, Shannon Mosier, Britney Smith, Sierra Johnstun, Heidi Hunsaker, Lexi Edwards and Coach Darrel Mosier.