Havasu volleyball dusts River Valley

September 13, 2018

Over the years the Lake Havasu volleyball team has given River Valley quite a bit of trouble on the court.

Since 2008 the Knights are 22-0 against the Dust Devils. That 22nd win came on Wednesday evening as Havasu beat River Valley 25-7, 25-13 and 25-13 in straight sets to improve to 6-1 overall.

The Knights did it with a dominating serve and passing intent on creating scoring opportunities.

“That really helps us control the offense and let our hitters get good attempts,” Lake Havasu coach Kari Thompson said. “We got our outside hitters a lot more involved (Wednesday).

“But we also stayed very balanced. The girls were running plays and having fun. It was good to see but that all only happens when we control the serve and our passes. We were able to do that and things went well.”

All three sets belonged to Havasu from start to finish. Especially the first two that saw the Knights start the sets with big leads River Valley could not recover from.

The only one that was even a little close was the third when the Dust Devils jumped ahead with quick 4-1 lead. But thanks to three consecutive aces from libero Maddie Darrah, Havasu was right back in it and then put six straight points on the board to basically put the game away.

River Valley would find ways to score a point here and there to interrupt the Knights groove. But once Havasu won a rally to earn the serve back, it would go on short scoring runs until it was all over.

Havasu used the serve among everything else to win the game. Five players scored at least twice on ace serves. Darrah had four to lead the team.

As dominant as the Knights were, they never got comfortable. Even when they had huge leads that would take a total shift in momentum for the opposing team to overcome. Finishing the game strong is something Kari Thompson has consistently said her team has had a knack of doing this season.

“I think the easiest way to finish off a run like (on Wednesday) is getting excited off plays and having fun,” outside hitter Savannah Senica said. “I think it’s just our attitude. Our enthusiasm makes the biggest difference in how we play. I think came out with a better attitude tonight.”

Sophomore Rylinn Smith led the Knights offensively with 11 kills. Taylor Thompson followed with five kills and three aces. Senior Sophia Fichter added four kills.

Havasu gets a little break after a week full of games before hosting — and looking to get revenge on — Kingman Academy at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The Tigers are the only team to beat the Knights so far in the regular season.

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