Mingus volleyball opens season with straight-sets win against Camp Verde
COTTONWOOD - The Mingus Marauders volleyball team beat Camp Verde in straight sets Tuesday in Cottonwood for the first match of the season, 25-18, 25-21, 25-13. Neither team walked away from the contest feeling they played to their potential.
"It wasn't quite as good as I hoped for," said Mingus head coach Brian Herman. "Our first two games we struggled with unforced errors. I thought we were beyond that with how we've practiced the last couple weeks; we've done very well not making hitting errors in practice, and then we racked them up in the first two games."
The Marauder hitting errors mainly came from outside hitters.
"Camp Verde played great defense, that was the best Camp Verde team I've seen by far. We kept putting the ball on them and they kept hitting it back, and we made mistakes," said Herman.
Camp Verde led for a good portion of the second game, but Mingus came back to win it with a big rally. Mingus then won the third game with ease.
The Cowboys looked like they shut down in the third game, a problem senior Katie Wilson says her team needs to work on.
"We didn't play bad, but our problem is when we lose a couple points we get down on ourselves -- we think it's over," said Wilson. "That's what happened in the third game."
The Mingus middle hitters, Tristen Meacham and Sarah Cochrane played exceptional: 13 kills and only two hitting errors. Herman said that's the best his middles have ever played.
"Those were amazing numbers and that means our passing was good. When our passing is good we can run middle all day long and nobody will be able to keep up with us," said Herman.
Senior middle starter Kalina Boysen did not play in the match, but Meacham and Cochrane's great play has Herman scheming a new offense. Boysen will be back with the team midway through the Payson tournament, and Herman plans to play his three middles at the same time.
"Our lineup will change when Kalina comes back. Obviously my two best hitters tonight were Tristen and Sarah, so what should I do in that situation?" Herman asked before answering his own question, "We're working on something where we can use all three of our middles in one game. It's a little bit different than what we did last year. It'll be interesting, I'm not sure if it will work. In my mind it's awesome because it gives us the best block and it gives us our three best hitters statistically always on the court. Then with Angel and Holly, and how well Bailey Mabery has been hitting out of the back row, we could have weapons everywhere."
Mingus has aspirations to contend for a Division III title, and Camp Verde wants to contend for a Division IV title.
Wilson led her team against Mingus with five kills. She's looking forward to when her team hosts the Marauders.
"The first game jitters always gets to us. I wish we could have played some other teams before we played our biggest rivals. I know next time when we play them later in the season we'll be ready," said Wilson.
The Marauders' next game was at Prescott and Camp Verde's next game was at Bradshaw. For results of those games check online.