By Greg Perkins–
The Lady Roadrunners of Holbrook split their two volleyball matches last week, losing a road game at St. Johns on Wednesday, then logging an emotional and spirited comeback win at home over Winslow on Thursday.
The Lady Birds really could have used a win over St. Johns to secure a spot in the Division IV state playoffs. That coupled with the Winslow win would have been enough to keep them in the top 16 in power points. The Lady Redskins had different ideas, though. St. Johns took the first game 25-21 only to see Holbrook control the second game 25-17, tying the match. Both the third and fourth games were close, but St. Johns prevailed 26-24 and 25-23 to send Holbrook home with a loss.
Shantina Kinlicheenie had three kills, 18 assists, two aces and 13 digs. Aaren LaRose added four kills, three assists, one ace and 12 digs. Bethany Baldwin had 19 kills, one ace and five digs. Shandie Demuth had two assists, nine digs and one block. Corazon Alvarado finished with two kills, seven digs and one block. Tess Baldonado had nine kills, two aces, 11 digs and two blocks. Maria Garcia had one assist and 15 digs. Kellin Bakurza added one kill, 10 assists, two aces and two digs before leaving the match with an injury. Samantha Smith helped with one kill and two digs.
Hosting Winslow in what was a must win game if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Lady Roadrunners came out of the gate slow, losing the first two games 27-25 and 25-18. Game three turned Holbrook’s way. With Bethany Baldwin and Baldonado coming alive at the net, the Lady Birds won the third game 25-20, then kept that momentum going with a 25-21 win in the fourth game. Playing in front of a large and noisy crowd, Holbrook roared out to a 13-5 lead in the fifth game behind a strong serving performance from LaRose. Just when it appeared Holbrook was poised to end the match, though, Winslow came back strong, taking a 16-15 lead in the final game. The Lady Roadrunners battled tough and finally outlasted Winslow 18-16 to complete the comeback and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Bakurza ended the match with 28 assists and 21 digs. LaRose had seven kills, three aces, 24 digs and one block. Bethany Baldwin added 23 kills, 14 digs and two blocks. Kinlicheenie finished with two kills, 16 assists, 15 digs and one block. Alvarado helped with a kill and four digs. Baldonado finished with 16 kills, one assist, 27 digs and four blocks. Smith added six kills, 11 digs and one block. Garcia finished with 18 digs. Janecia Nez added three kills, one ace and four digs. Demuth helped with one kill, two assists and three digs. Tamika Baldwin added eight assists and four digs.
Holbrook is currently 7-9 and ranked 16th in power point matches. The Lady Birds’ final regular season match will be on Thursday, Oct. 27, when they host Ganado on Senior Night. They will more than likely need to win this match to keep their playoff hopes alive. Ganado comes into this game in a similar situation, which, in essence, gives this match a playoff-type atmosphere, with the winner headed to the post-season and the loser to basketball practice.