For the first time in years, the Hornets dealt the Muckers a loss in volleyball. For some time, the Muckers have dominated the series, but Beatty finally put an end to that last Friday in Tonopah by winning in five, 25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 19-25 and 15-5.
Beatty (7-2 overall, 5-2 Division IV Southern) with the win over Tonopah (6-7, 4-3) is firmly in third place behind Sandy Valley (10-1, 6-1) and Pahranagat Valley (15-7, 6-0) with three games in the regular season to go. They play Indian Springs (7-3, 5-2) this Friday at 7 p.m., then Adelson School (7-8, 2-5), and Sandy Valley.
Hornets Coach Dale Lerbakken said his girls have started playing better volleyball.
“I felt real good after beating Tonopah, even though it took 5 games, because I can’t remember when the last time that was,” he said. “I played only seven girls against Tonopah, and that seemed to work well. We never were out of control, even the two games we lost. All the girls contributed well, either with their serves or their hitting, plus we got a lot more blocks.”
Lerbakken believes his team was much more aggressive. For the past two games, he had criticized his girls for not being able to close out games strongly. He really felt the Hornets should have been dominating games earlier against some of the weaker teams. He said he saw a lot of what he wanted to see against the Muckers.
“They were moving their feet, and setting ourselves up better offensively, to be more aggressive. I think our third game really turned us around, and the fifth game we dominated like I knew our girls can,” he said.
The girls on the floor doing all the work against the Muckers were Dalia Mejia, Maggie Cathcart, Denise Gonzalez, Anel and Vanessa Gamboa, Claudia Granados, and Alexia Gil.
According to Muckers Coach Chuck Fox, Beatty was a difficult team to deal with and hard to cover on the floor.
“Both teams wanted the win. In the end, unfortunately, we came out on the bottom. Beatty was a hard team to figure out how they were going to attack the ball. They did a lot of tipping and hitting the outside corners and we could not cover those hits. They had some great servers who could deliver some pretty powerful serves,” he explained.
The coach said the Lady Muckers’ main weakness was that they stopped talking on the court and they were not aggressive enough in going after the ball and controlling the game.