Knights volleyball falls in five

September 19, 2018

If any game this fall season was to resemble a boxing match so far, it would be the match between the Lake Havasu and Kingman Academy volleyball teams on Tuesday.

The Tigers ended up landing the knockout punch that downed the Knights 25-20, 20-25, 25-17, 19-25 and 12-15 in a best-of-five match up. However, it went blow for blow until the very end.

“We knew what kind of game we were getting,” Lake Havasu coach Kari Thompson said. “At the end of the game, (Kingman Academy) played confident. I think we just have to finish with confidence too. As conference play starts (on Thursday), most of our games are going to look like this one. So we are just going to have to be able to push through those points when it gets close.”

Going into the fourth set, the Knights led the Tigers two sets to one. From the start, it looked to either team’s set, but Kingman Academy pulled away with a 13-8 lead after three consecutive points.

That’s when the Knights and Tigers started exchanging punches in the form of short scoring bursts. When Havasu would score two, Kingman Academy would score three. When the Tigers would look to be finding a groove, the Knights spoiled it with a point of their own.

The only problem was after Kingman Academy took that small 13-8 lead from the start, Havasu could not catch up before the game ended and the Tigers forced a fifth set.

In that final set, the Tigers got the first serve and created momentum with an ace from Lynsey Day.

After trailing the entire set, the Knights managed to go up 10-9 after three consecutive points that included an ace from libero Maddie Darrah. However, the Tigers won the next six out of eight rallies to come out on top with the 15-12 win.

After coming away with a win in the third set, Havasu looked to be finding a comfortable groove. But according to junior Savannah Senica, the Knights got “too comfortable,” and couldn’t match the intensity from the earlier sets in the final two.

“I thought we should have taken the first set win and ran with it but I think we played down,” Senica said. “We just did not keep up the intensity. We need to keep that intensity through the entire match.”

Senica led the Knights offensively with 20 kills and five aces. Rylinn Smith followed with 12 kills and an ace. Taylor Thompson had seven kills and four aces. Madisyn Connelly added six kills.

So far this season, Kingman Academy is the only team to beat Havasu. Now at 6-2 overall with the loss, the Knights open conference play on Thursday at 5 p.m. when Peoria comes to town. The match will mark the first conference game since Havasu moved down to the 4A conference in the West Valley region.

And despite the tough loss on Tuesday, the Knights are excited to jump into the part of the season that counts the most.

“We need to work on a few more things at practice but I think as a team we are excited to show other teams in our conference what we can do,” Taylor Thompson said.

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