OPENING KNIGHT: Havasu volleyball sweeps Kingman in first home match of season

September 7, 2018

It was played at a slower pace than usual, but it ended in the same result.

The Lake Havasu volleyball team sputtered at times in the second and third sets but still managed to cruise to a 25-9, 25-18, 25-16 victory on Thursday afternoon at Lake Havasu High School.

It was the first home game for the Knights and a warmup fo this weekend’s Mary Jo Goldey tournament, the first major meet of the year.

“I think the game was a little sloppier, a little slower than we had been playing the first three (matches),” Havasu coach Kari Thompson said.

“Maybe it was a little nerves with the first home games, getting into the swing of things. But, we did buckle down, we did make plays when we needed them.”

The Knights steamrolled Kingman in the first set behind some early offense from Sophia Fichter, bullying the Bulldogs 25-9.

Kingman responded with a stronger start to the second set, pulling away from a back and forth start to take a 9-6 lead.

Havasu answered by scoring nine of the next 11 points to pull ahead 15-11, but would give up the next four points and eventually end up tied 18-18.

The Knights regained their composure and finished with a flourish, scoring the final seven points of the set, capped by an ace from Maddie Darrah.

Kingman scored the first five points of the third set but couldn’t hang on, with the Knights roaring back to score 10 of the next 12.

Leading 12-9, the Knights then scored four straight points, lost serve, the scored seven more to take a 23-10 advantage.

Kingman rallied off six straight points to stave off a lopsided final figure, but Havasu shut the door with the final two points to win the last set 25-16.

“We could’ve played better, but I think we did pretty good,” Fichter said.

Fichter had a team high one solo and one team block. Rylinn Smith had four kills, Savannah Senica had six digs and Tatum Liska had nine assists and four aces to lead the Knights.

Even with the quick victory, Thompson said she’d like to see improvements ahead of Saturday’s home invite.

“I want more excitement. I want to see the good plays. I want to see what we were just doing the last two weeks. Make it fun and go for it,” Thompson said.

“It’s good just to get the first home game out of the way. There’s more nerves with the crowd here. We’re past the first one and ready to go,” Thompson said.

“Excited for the tournament this weekend. We’ve got several teams coming in but we’ve got a good team that can make a good showing.”

Lake Havasu def. Kingman 25-9, 25-18, 25-16

Havasu Leaders: Kills - Rylinn Smith 4; Assists - Tatum Liska 9; Digs - Savannah Senica 6; Blocks - Sophia Fichter 2; Aces - Liska 4.

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