Blogs / Features
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Basha VB cruises to 1st-round victory over RinconOct 30, 2012
When a No. 8 and No.9 seed meet in the first round of a tournament the natural thought is the winner could be either team. Basha girls volleyball coach Jim Kann had that approach Tuesday night when his Basha squad hosted Rincon in the Division I opening round.
But Kann also knew that over the past few weeks his team has been playing some of it best matches. That play continued for the most part Tuesday as Basha swept Rincon by scores of 25-14, 25-11 and 25-19 at Basha High.
Basha (29-10) advances to the ultimate test Thursday in the quarterfinals when it visits tournament favorite Horizon at 7 p.m. Horizon, the top seed, swept No. 16 Kofa on Tuesday. Rincon closed its season with a very respectable 21-13 record. All the winners in the first-round of the D-I tournament won via sweep -- Horizon, Basha, Gilbert, Mountain Ridge, Xavier, Desert Vista, Centennial and Hamilton.
"We played well tonight," Kann said. "Not disappointed at all. Got a little relaxed the last game, but Rincon played hard. They really battled us the last game.
"Right now, we're excited about Thursday. Getting the chance to go over there (Horizon) and play."
Basha performed well in all facets. The first set was close at 7-6 Basha before the Bears started to find some holes for their attacks. Rincon blocked well most of the night, but had more than one or two players to contend with on the attack. Freshman setter Justine Spann fed four players who did the offensive damage -- McKayla Ferris (12 kills) and six apiece from Taryn Marton, Maddie Bickle and Rachel Brugman. Marton led the defensive effort with 14 digs and Ferris and Alex Lukac had six digs each.
Rincon was never in the second set as unforced errors and a run of seven consecutive points served by Brugman (including three aces) led to a rout. Rincon grabbed an early lead in the third set and stayed close enough to contend. After a Basha net violation made it 17-15 Basha, Kann called his only timeout of the match to refocus the Bears. A 7-1 run ensued with Rincon committing two many errors at cruch time to prevail.
Rincon junior middle Taylor Reiter and teammate Emily Singleton were the Rangers' stalwarts. Reiter and Singleton had six kills apiece unofficially. They keyed a stretch in the third set that brought Rincon back and gave some hope of forcing a fourth set.
Basha, which opened the season with tough matches with Gilbert and Hamilton in the season's first two weeks (losses via sweep), had rematches in the last two weeks with both teams. The Bears beat Gilbert 3-2 and pushed Hamilton much harder in a 3-1 loss. Basha played Horizon once this season the second week of October at the Goldwater Festival. The Bears lost that match 25-19, 25-20. Horizon has one loss this season to an Arizona team (Xavier in the Goldwater Festival). A tournament Horizon went on to win.
"Horizon is good, very good," Kann said. "I think we're ready to give them a match. I like where we're at."