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Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Basha VB halts Mesa High's seeding-game winning streak at 10Oct 4, 2012
Basha's volleyball team has played a tougher seeding-game schedule than Mesa High. And that's why the Bears at 10-2 in seeding games prior to Thursday night were ranked 7th in Division I seedings and Mesa was 16th at 10-1.
Both teams were itching to mix it up in a competitive match and neither was disappointed after their confrontation at Jackrabbit Gym.
Basha's stronger hitting finally got the best of Mesa as the Bears won in four sets, 25-16, 22-25, 25-18, 26-24 on Dig Pink match night.
Basha, which opened the season dropping two of its first five seeding-game matches to D-I powers Gilbert and Hamilton, improved to 15-5 overall and 11-2 in seeding matches. Mesa (22-6, 10-2) saw a 10-seeding game win streak snapped. Mesa lost its first match of the year toD-I top-10 Mountain Pointe.
"We haven't had a tough match in a while, but they gave us one tonight," Basha coach Jim Kann said. "They play great defense. They're very good defensively. A scrappy team...
"We needed a test. We had to fight back a couple times. We didn't serve well or hit partciularly well, but we fought. That was the important thing."
Basha won the first set with relative ease and appeared on its way to wrapping up the second set with a 20-16 lead. But when Mesa's Drea Farnsworth got her second chance to serve in the set, she changed the match. Mesa ran off eight straight points -- five via ace by Farnsworth. Mesa went on to win the set and even the match.
"Fansworth served us off the court," Kann said. " I called timeout, and she still came back out and had an ace(s)."
Basha regained the momentum in the third set and controlled the set after Mesa evened the score at 15. Three kills from Taryn Marton and two from Alexa Johnson helped give the Bears a 2-1 lead.
The fourth set had Basha running away with a 15-8 lead. Mesa's defense gradually helped it come back, forging a 22-20 lead after one of Paige Gardner's team-high 13 kills. Gardner's final kill of the night gave Mesa a 24-23 lead. The Jackrabbits, however, committed a service error on set point. Basha scored the final three points and tallied match-point on McKayla Ferris' 19th kill.
"This was the best competition we've had since the Westwood Tournament (early September)," Mesa coach Amy Strawn said. "The other night Skyline took a game from us, and played outstanding defense. Other than that, it was tonight. We were forced to battle, and we did. It's one you hate to lose."
Mesa has five seeding matches left and Strawn thinks her team needs to win all five to qualify for postseason due to the weakness overall of its schedule.
Mesa got its usual contribution from setter/opposite Kelcee Munk, who totated nine kills, five blocks and 16 assists. Libero Gloria Tukuafu had 31 digs and Farnsworth finished with seven aces and five kills. Besides Ferris' 19 kills, Basha got nine from middle Rachel Brugman.