Fri, April 03

Marauders volleyball splits with Page

Staff photo by Eric Lusk

JULIE BEAL pounds down a spike in a recent Mingus Match vs. Payson.

But that was the hardly the case with Mingus Union’s spiking squad, which played some of its best volleyball Saturday in a spirited doubleheader against Page.

The Marauders pushed the Sand Devils, typically one of the stronger teams in the region, to five games in the first match and then beat them in five games in the second.

“It was a late (Friday) night for most of the girls due to homecoming, however we had our best offensive games ever,” said Mingus coach Audrey Islas. “Our kill percentage was better the second match and was the best so far this season.”

The Marauders had 101 hits and 41 kills in that second bout as they handed the Sand Devils a 25-14, 19-25, 25-23, 26-28 and 15-13 defeat. Senior Julie Beal accounted for 21 kills, and towering teammate Ashley Bright had 12 more. Laura Weir and Michelle Lee combined for five kills.

“Their defense did not dig as many in the second match,” Islas said.

Mingus nearly swiped the first match as well but lost in the fifth and deciding game 15-13. The Marauders won games one (25-18) and three (25-18), while the Devils won two (25-22) and four (25-15).

Bright had 12 kills and Beal 11 to lead MUHS in the opener.

“Blocking wasn't very good, but we dug a lot more balls than usual,” Islas said. “Michelle Lee served the ball well in both matches. Brittany Moran also served well off the bench and did a good job in the back row.

“Natalie Alred was a key competitor in the back row and had 1 kill as well as good serve reception. I was very pleased with the win. I was hoping for two but one helps.”

Page moved to 6-4 in Grand Canyon Region play after the twinbill. Mingus moved to 3-7, 6-9 overall. The Marauders finish the regular season this Saturday with a doubleheader at GCR rival Chinle, which always fields a scrappy team.

According to The Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff, Mingus can finish no higher than fifth in the seven-team GCR. Coconino and Sinagua lead the league entering the final week of the regular season.

Islas said she brought up freshman Courtney Mahlman from the junior varsity for the remainder of the Marauders season.

“She will learn a lot by practicing with us this week,” Islas said. “She has great potential. She will continue to play JV also the rest of the season and then continue with the varsity into region tournament play.”

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