No. 6-ranked Bears sweep Youngker 3-0
PRESCOTT VALLEY — Full speed ahead! Bradshaw Mountain volleyball is showing no signs of slowing down as it swept aside a formidable Youngker team during a 3-0 win on Wednesday.
100919 Youngker At Bradshaw Mtn
Since sweeping Mohave on Thursday, Oct. 3, the Bears took a break from region play to compete in the Chandler Prep. Invite over the weekend where they went 5-1. The Bears continued their stellar play in Wednesday’s win over Youngker, who were no slouch as they were 22-4 heading into Wednesday’s bout.
Much like most the season, an all-around effort by the Bears propelled them to their fourth straight win in non-tournament play. However, setter McKell Clifford, the team’s architect all season, dished a team-high 20 assists and four digs to help Bradshaw Mountain avenge last year’s 3-2 loss to Youngker.
“It feels so good to get the sweep,” Clifford said. “We have been preparing for this game. We knew it was going to be a big game for us and we just came out with energy and fought so hard. It felt so good.”
It was evident the Bears came out with a goal in mind, setting the tone right away in the first set. They quickly jumped out to double-digit lead and never looked back to take a commanding 25-8 win in the opening set.
“I think we came out fighting. Our defense was really nice. Our servicing was nice. If we can pass, we can do great things and we did,” said Bears’ head coach Karrie Platt. “Our setters were also really good, getting the ball to our hitters and letting them do their job.”
As dominant as they were in the first set, the Bears’ sharpness began to waver as the match progressed. In the second and third sets, Youngker made a couple good runs and even leaked out to several four- or five-point leads midway through.
Despite Youngker’s efforts, it never really seemed that Bradshaw Mountain lost control of the game. Lo and behold, this is exactly what happened as the Bears reached the 20-point mark first in both sets to win 25-20 and 25-17, respectively.
Offensively, Bradshaw Mountain had five players post a hitting percentage of .200 or more, including OH Abigail Platt (.467), MH McKyrie Herb (.455), OH Mailani Manuel (.385), OH Jordyn Moser (.231) and MH Peyton Bradshaw (.200). Manuel also got the double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs while Moser pitched in with 10 kills and eight digs.
With the sweep, Bradshaw Mountain continues their whirlwind of a season considering that this is only Platt’s first season at the helm. However, Platt attributed her and the team’s success to her connection with the players and to the community prior to her taking the job as head coach.
The Bears (12-3, 5-1 Grand Canyon) will have six days off before they jump back to region action to take on Mingus (6-8, 2-4 Grand Canyon) at home on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m.
“We’re going to give our girls a couple days off at the end of the week and come back next week ready to fight,” Platt said.
Bradshaw Mountain’s lone loss in region play came at the hands of Flagstaff (18-1, 7-0 Grand Canyon), who are three-time defending region champs. The Eagles are the only team standing in the Bears’ way of a title this season but a decisive rematch will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at home.
Aaron Valdez is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter at @Valaaron_94. Email email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2031.