Blogs / Features
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Mesa Mtn. View VB aces Red Mountain early, prevails 3-1Sep 11, 2012
Both Mesa Mountain View and Red Mountain are working to get their girls volleyball programs running with the other stalwarts in the Division I ranks. Each has a new coach and that desired rise won't happen overnight so for now the rivalry will have to stoke the fires rather than any lengthy postseason run.
Score another triumph in the series for Mountain View on Tuesday night, as the Toros continued to rule their neighbors to the east with a 25-7, 22-25, 25-23, 25-17 at Toro Gym.
"This being my first year, we're trying to get some consistency," first-year caoch Sean Harrison said. "Mountain View's had one of the top programs in the state for a long time. I'd like to see us get that going again."
Mountain View, with Harrison at the helm as the Toros third coach in three years, dominated the match in one facet -- serve-receive. Senior Stephany Purdue served up six aces among a 12-0 Mountain View run to begin the first set and the Toros breezed to victory. Visions of a sweep surely entered the minds of fans watching after the opening set, but Red Mountain found its equilibrium in the second.
Red Mountain also has a new coach -- its fourth in six years -- in Rebecca Olson. The Mountain Lions have reached the playoffs only twice in the last eight years and were one-and-done each time drawing Xavier in the first round. Olson had to have been pleased seeing her team turn things around after a lackluster opening set. Harrison thought that was the case for sure.
"When you lose by that much you have nothing to lose," Harrison said of Red Mountain. "They came out and played a lot better. Knocked us off to even it."
Red Mountain middle Emily Franklin, who had productive match with 16 kills (unofficially), supplied a couple of aces and blocking in the second set to help even the match. Four kills in the set by teammate Savannah Ulrick offered another weapon and gave the Mountain Lions momentum that carried deep in the third set.
Red Mountain led most of the third set and held a 22-19 advantage when Mountain View (2-2 in power-point matches) called time to regroup for the final rallies. Red Mountain (3-2 ppm), however, struggled to the finish with three hitting errors, poor passing and a service error that allowed Mountain View to tie the set a final time at 23 before the Toros prevailed (25-23).
Mountain View broke a 10-10 tie in the fourth set with Purdue serving again and gained control of the outcome from there. McCue, who registered 15 kills (unofficially), had four in the final set. Purdue closed out a 5-0 run with back-to-back aces and a 15-10 advantage. Three of Mountain View's final five points were via aces, including the match-clincher by Ashton Schmitz.
The victory was a good bounce-back for Mountain View, which lost seven of eight matches last weekend at the Westwood Tournament of Champions.
"We had a tough time there against real good teams," Harrison said "That's what we're striving to be."