Monsoon blown away by Prescott in 3-0 sweep
PRESCOTT - Bailey Anderson had nine kills, Veronica Norkus added three kills, two blocks and two digs and the Prescott volleyball team celebrated its seniors with a 3-0 sweep of 23rd-ranked Valley Vista on Tuesday night.
"We didn't think they were going to play any better than they did tonight, or it was just us," said Anderson, who added two blocks in the last regular season home match of her high school career. "We played really good and we came together. We are unified and we've been really working on our teamwork, and I think that showed a lot tonight because we beat a good team."
Anderson, who is being recruited by Yavapai College and South Mountain Community College for volleyball, said for her, senior night was full of "mixed emotions."
"I'm really happy, but I'm also kind of sad about it," Anderson said. "I'm ready to move on and go to college, but I want to stay and play more."
Badger senior Haley Crozier said "it felt great" to get a win against a top 25 squad like the Monsoon.
"The girls worked really hard and did a really good job," Crozier said. "I'm proud of them and I'm proud to be a part of the team."
The 7th-ranked Badgers jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in game one thanks to the serving of junior Erinn Marroquin, who had nine ace serves on the night.
Prescott [27-14 Overall, 13-3 Power Point Matches] led 16-11 at one point in game one before Valley Vista head coach David Chavez called a timeout. The coaching move didn't work, and Anderson capped a 9-3 run with a kill to give the Badgers a 25-14 win in game one.
Game two proved to be a little more challenging for the Badgers. Tied at 16-16, Marroquin once again stepped in with her stellar serving skills and gave the Badgers a 17-16 lead and they never look back for a 25-22 win.
Prescott head coach Shellie Bowman said Marroquin has made of habit this season of pulling the Badgers out of a tough spot.
"When she comes in she serves tough, and she kind of takes them out of their system," Bowman said. "So, even though she didn't get a lot of aces tonight, she got a lot of points on serve for us, and that really got us going."
Game three came as more of a formality for the Badgers as Valley Vista played like they were already beaten. The Monsoon trailed 14-4 at one point before Marroquin, again, led the charge, serving the Badgers to a 6-0 run to end game three, 25-11, and the match.
Other top performances included junior Alex Koehler with seven kills and three blocks, junior setter Allie Jo Amos had 14 assists and junior Grace Hendricks chipped in with 10 digs and three ace serves.
Bowman said the players responded well to some adversity in game two, but overall they "came together and played a good match."
"One of the problems we had was we were slowing our game down to their game, and that kind of hurt us a little bit, especially in that second game," Bowman said. "That was one of the things I wanted to focus on in the third game, and they did."
The Badgers will wrap up the 2015 regular season at Tolleson on Thursday, Oct. 28. The Wolverines are 5-16 overall this season and ranked near the bottom in the Division II power point poll at No. 43.
With the Division II state volleyball playoffs set to begin Tuesday, Nov. 3, it is possible the Badgers could be playing for a top four seed in the bracket. The first two rounds of the playoffs are hosted by the highest seeded team, and Prescott could get two home matches if they were a top four seed and happen to win in the first round.
Brackets are scheduled to be released by the AIA in the afternoon Friday, Oct. 30.
Game time against Tolleson on Thursday is set for 6 p.m.
Follow Brian M. Bergner Jr. on Twitter at @SportsWriter52 or reach him by phone at 928-445-3333, ext. 1106, or 928-899-6946.