Sat, Dec. 14

Mingus volleyball beats Bradshaw in three games

<b>Holly Drake</b> makes a tip at the net Wednesday as the Mingus volleyball team hosts  Bradshaw Mountain. VVN/Sean Morris

<b>Holly Drake</b> makes a tip at the net Wednesday as the Mingus volleyball team hosts Bradshaw Mountain. VVN/Sean Morris

COTTONWOOD - The Mingus volleyball team beat Bradshaw Mountain in three games, (25-14, 25-14, 25-9) Wednesday in Cottonwood.

Mingus cruised to victory against the Bears, but the day before the Marauders lost in three games to the Scorpions in Sedona, (25-19, 25-23, 25-19).

Losing to Sedona puts Mingus under pressure in their bid to make the playoffs. Mingus head coach Brian Herman spoke after the Bradshaw match.

"We were a lot better today than we were yesterday. Our passing was better and our middles produced," said Herman. "Once our middles produced our outside hitters had more success."

Against Sedona Angel Chavez attempted 37 kills. Herman explained that's way too many for one outside hitter to accumulate in a three-game match. It came from poor passing and resulted in the Marauders becoming one-dimensional; Sedona knew where the ball was going to be and had ample time to set their defense.

When passing is good, the Marauders can run the ball through the middle, which happens to be their most effective attack. Once teams have to worry about Mingus' middle hitters, lanes open up for Marauder outside hitters.

Against Bradshaw, outside hitter Holly Drake led the Marauders with seven kills. The Mingus middles (Kalina Boysen, Tristen Meacham, Sarah Cochrane) combined for 10 kills. That's the kind of balanced attack the Marauders need to execute the rest of the regular season to earn a shot at the state tournament.

"We lost to Sedona, and now we're in the same situation we were in last year. Splitting with these teams that we need to beat might come back to haunt us. Now we need to pick up a win against a tougher team that we could have afforded a loss to, like Northwest Christian or Cactus Shadows," said Herman. "It's really important that we pick up a win against at least one of those teams. We cannot end this season with six or seven losses and expect to make it into the playoffs."

Mingus plays at Camp Verde Sept. 18. Mingus' next home game is against Wickenburg Sept 27.

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