Blogs / Features
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Corona VB rallies from 0-2 deficit to defeat Mountain PointeOct 16, 2012
After playing the first set of Tuesday's match with Mountain Pointe, Corona del Sol coach Ben Maxfield saw an eerily similar beginning to a match played two weeks ago with Chaparral.
That was a match Maxfield -- to put it mildly -- was very disappointed in. Maxfield had a smile and relieved look on his face this night as did his team as they put an 0-2 deficit behind them and rallied for a 14-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-16, 15-13 victory over host Mountain Pointe.
The triumph spoiled Senior Night for Mountain Pointe and gave a huge lift to Corona's playoffs chances the next 10 days. Corona improved to 19-11 overal and 9-5 in seeding games. The Aztecs entered play Tuesday as the No. 14 seed in Division I; Mountain Pointe began more comfortable at No. 10. But with three automatic berths going to teams in Section I -- only one of which (Millennium at No. 15) is in the top 16 to date -- the Aztecs know they must advance up the seedings ladder to avoid being bumped for postseason.
"This was big," Maxfield said. "We played with some urgency. This was the fourth match we've played this year that's gone to 15 (a fifth set), and the first one we've won. We needed this badly."
Corona's comeback began in the second set when it battled from five points down to tie Mountain Pointe at 23. The second set ended abruptly at that point with a Corona service error and hitting error.
Maxfield decided to tinker with his lineup over the final three sets. opting to go with more seniors and their experience. The Aztecs were the sharper team for much of the final three sets save one stretch in the deciding set. That's when Mountain Pointe threatened to take the match, rallying from down 7-3 to up 9-7.
Mountain Pointe's execution for that spurt was reminiscent to the first set when it pretty much steamrolled Corona. Mountain Pointe got two aces from Chandler Hillman and kills from Codi Jacobsen and Kendall Gray to regain the lead. Corona had just enough left to steady itself after using its second timeout. The Aztecs tally the final two points after a 13-13 tie with strong play at the net.
"We served well in Game 1 and Game 2," Mountain Pointe coach Fred Mann said. "Then we missed a few the next couple games that cost us. They did a much better job of digging the last three games...
"We're pretty evenly matched with them. We beat them the first time in five going to 17-15 to win. We're going to need to win our last two (matches) with Maricopa and Desert Vista."
Maxfield credited better serving and passing with his team's uptick in play. Corona finished with eight aces. Seven came in the final four sets. The Aztecs went to several short serves that Maxfield felt got Mountain Pointe "out of system."
Senior middle Caroline Trent led Corona with 12 kills and four blocks. Senior outside hitter Kasey Kiefer added 10 kills, two blocks and 16 digs. Mountain Pointe's Christine Winkelman and Jacobsen contributed 14 kills apiece. Hillman had three aces, Kayla Meester 23 digs and Kaylah Lupoe (three blocks).