Mohave sweeps pesky Mingus squad: Lady T-birds win 25-19, 25-18, 25-22
BULLHEAD CITY — While the Lady T-birds swept the visiting Mingus High School Lady Marauders 25-19, 25-18, 25-22, the volleyball match was tight throughout all three sets at Mohave High School on Thursday night.
The victory was Mohave first win in Arizona Interscholastic Association 4A Grand Canyon Region play this season.
The T-birds have had trouble finishing off their foes, but that was not the case against the Marauders.
“We actually worked on that during the last (two) practice(s),” Mohave head coach Zdenko Radic said. “We had a scoreboard with a game starting from 21-20 or something like that, so both teams start around 20 and we tried to finish it. We worked on that and it showed tonight.”
Sophomore Ashley Salazar’s five-point service run, including one ace, helped turn Mohave’s 3-2 deficit into a 9-5 advantage early in the match.
Mingus’ Aliyah Ramirez’s four-point service run turned a Marauders’ 11-8 deficit into a 12-11 lead.
Sophomore Maya Radic turned a 13-13 tie into a Mohave 19-13 lead with six service points in a row, including three straight aces, sophomore Hannah Burgess turned a block into a point, and senior Natalie Willmore recorded a kill during the T-birds’ run.
Willmore said Maya Radic played well against Mingus.
“She’s only a sophomore,” said Willmore about Radic. “She’s only going to get better — just wait until next season.”
Willmore credited Mohave senior setters Bree Lipinski and Eleanora Arca with putting the ball in the right place for her launch her booming spikes.
“The setters made the hitters look good,” Coach Radic said.
Sophomore libero Jazlynn Jimenez was steady in the back row and served well for Mohave.
Sadie Backus, Kaitlyn Card and Sarah Williams steady play helped keep Mingus in the first set.
Mohave senior Jasmine Gonzalez, Willmore, senior Lily Bouchard and sophomore Oakley Heaton played big at the net to help put Mingus away during the end of the first set.
Radic came out blazing in the second set. Her tremendous serves and spikes helped Mohave take a 8-3 and 12-8 leads. Willmore and Gonzalez also had thunderous hits during the T-birds’ early run.
“Maya did really good tonight,” Burgess said. “Both Bree and Ele(anora) set me up, gave me really good sets tonight. It’s really nice to have them.”
Nevaeh Monhollen, Card, Lindsey Jones, Jenna Mahon and Ramirez helped keep Mingus close early in the second set.
Oakley and Gonzalez stuffed a Mingus spike attempt, which turned into a point and Mohave led 15-13.
Lipinski finished off the Marauders with a five-point service run, including the a set-point ace, and Willmore and Burgess each recorded two kills in a row, which accounted for four of the T-birds’ last five points.
Sophomore Grace Martinez recorded two kills, Radic added two points and Willmore chipped in with a kill, which helped Mohave stay in the third set.
It was tied at 2-2, 3-3, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 11-11 and 13-13 before Mohave gradually pulled away from the pesky Mingus squad.
Arca served well for Mohave late in the third set, and Oakley recorded the set-, match-ending point.
The victory improved the T-birds’ record to 4-9 overall, 4-10 in conference and 1-7 in region, according to aiaonline.org. The loss dropped the Marauders’ record to 4-10 overall, 4-10 in conference and 1-8 in region.