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Havasu takes first at annual Mary Jo Goldey Tournament

September 9, 2018

It was a long day for the Lake Havasu volleyball team on Saturday. But in the end, the grind of playing eight games in a day was worth it as the Knights took first in their annual Mary Jo Goldey Tournament.

“We’ve finished third place the last three years,” Lake Havasu coach Kari Thompson said.

“Getting our first first down in Phoenix (at Buckeye) and then winning our home tournament, I think those two things have built some confidence.”

Being that Kari Thompson is a graduate of Lake Havasu High School and also played volleyball, the Knights and their coach have been itching for a shot at the title the last few years.

Especially since the tournament honors the memory of one of Kari Thompson’s high school volleyball coaches daughter, who lost her life to cancer.

The Knights did just that by edging rival Mohave 21-13 and 23-21 in what was its closest match of the day.

In the second set, Havasu and the Thunderbirds were tied 18-18 as a timeout was called.

At that point, the Knights treated the game like it was 0-0 again and closed out the game to win it all.

Havasu had to beat Needles, Independence and Yuma Catholic — who served the Knights their only loss at 21-20 of the day in round robin play — in that order to get to Mohave.

The Knights have found that the more players that touch the ball the more likely they are to win.

That is how they have stayed undefeated in the season before the tournament and it is how they plan to continue as the season progresses.

Service points also were a big part of Havasu win on Saturday. In all, the Knights had 33 points scored off the serve. Senior Taturm Liska led the team in that category with 13 overall. Liska also had 53 assists on the day.

Savannah Sennica led the team offensively with 18 kills on the day and 8 service aces.

Terra Pierce notched 14 kills and Taylor Thompson added 10.

So far this season, the Knights have only lost one game and that was on Saturday the first time they played Yuma Catholic.

The early success is a culmination of things and the players are acknowledging things feel different then they have in the past. Now they just have to dig in.

“We’ve talked about controling the nonconference games because we know we need as many powerpoints as possible,” Kari Thompson said. “We’ve just been taking one game at a time while trying to earn as many power points as possible. I think the girls are really focused on that because they know we need it.”

The Knights have one more road game at 5 p.m. on Monday against Kingman Academy before they return home fore a four game homestand.

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