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VOLLEYBALL: Knights netters beat Buckeye

August 31, 2018

BUCKEYE — The Lake Havasu volleyball team deployed a balanced offensive attack to beat Buckeye on the road in straight sets at 25-23, 25-17 and 25-16 for its second win in a row to start the season.

The Knights have been exceptional to start the season according to Lake Havasu coach Kari Thompson as she called the Knights game against the Hawks “the best game I have seen that group of girls play. Ever.”

Although the first came down to the wire and ultimately decided by two points, in the beginning, it looked to be the Knights set.

“We came out on fire in the first set and set a very good tone,” Thompson said. “Tatum Liska and Savannah Senica scored the first nine points between them and made it 9-1 to start that first set. It was good to set that tone from the beginning because we got a slow start in Parker.”

Buckeye managed to rally back and play Havasu point-for-point. Thompson said the difference in that first set was the Knights got energized, started really hitting on the ball and took control toward the end.

That energy carried through the next two sets and Havasu shared the wealth.

Four Knights earned more than five kills each. Rylinn Smith led offensively with seven kills and three digs. Terra Pierce followed with six kills and a dig. Taylor Thompson had five kills with a team-leading nine digs and Senica had five kills.

“Our attack was very balanced and (the Hawks) couldn’t set-up on us,” Thompson said. “It was out, middle and opposite all evenly attacked. We just kind of spread out the kills and made Buckeye work both sides.”

Liska led the team by setting up the kills. The Knights plan going into the game was the make the opposing blockers work across the net.

“She did a really good calling some quick plays in the middle to open things up,” Thompson said. “It really shut down their middle block and allowed us to swing away.”

Thompson said she thinks her players exert the most confidence when the opposing teams middle block isn’t working.

Because of what Havasu was able to do to shut down the block on all sides against Buckeye Thompson said she wants to emphasize what her team did in practice going forward. What she saw her team do on Thursday, is definitely something she wants to see more of in the future.

Havasu improves to 2-0 overall with the win and will look to ride the wave of early success into River Valley at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

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