Badgers let one slip away against Coconino
PRESCOTT — Prescott volleyball was on the verge of claiming the fourth set during its home match against Coconino on Tuesday. With a 25-23 lead, all the Badgers had to do was to score one more point to force a fifth set and prevent them from falling into an even deeper hole in region play.
However, things didn’t go as planned.
For most of the season, Prescott has struggled to close out sets and in Tuesday’s match, that struggle reared its ugly head once again. Coconino managed to overcome multiple deficits in the final two sets to defeat Prescott 3-1, promptly leaving the Badgers with a bitter taste in their mouths.
101519 Coconino at Prescott volleyball
“It’s frustrating any time we don’t come out and play our best game,” said Prescott head coach Courtney Adams. “We just need to remember that we need to continue to work together and execute. And when we have a lead, don’t relax and just stay on the gas and push all the way to 25.”
The Panthers weren’t exactly a super intimidating team as they were 1-5 in region action heading into Tuesday’s match. However, they caught the Badgers way off guard in the first set, seizing control from start to finish to win 25-18.
In the second set, the Badgers were able to regroup and put together their best set of the night. Despite Coconino shrinking a 10-point lead down to three, Prescott held on this time to take the second set by a commanding 25-17 margin.
At this point, it seemed to be anyone’s game, especially in a pivotal third set. The Panthers and Badgers battled back and forth and if this was only a three-set match, the intensity level would have been through the roof.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, this was when their late-set woes began to haunt them. Prescott clung onto a 24-23 lead but the scrappy Panthers rattled off for three straight points to win the set 26-24.
“We need to improve on a lot of our blocking skills. We haven’t been connecting with each other to our block, so a lot of the seams are left open,” said Prescott OH Kate Radavich. “We need to just work on a lot of our passing too. Our servicing wasn’t working and our back-row attacking, that wasn’t very good either.”
On a brighter note, the Badgers weren’t fazed after faltering in the third set. They came out looking to at least force a fifth set and held a comfortable lead for a good portion of the fourth.
Prescott reached the 20-point mark first but it wasn’t long until Coconino began to claw their way back to even the score. After the Panthers took a 25-24 lead, the Badgers pushed it to sudden death, but it was ultimately all for not. The final two rallies lasted quite a while but they both finished in favor of the Panthers, who claimed the 27-25 victory.
The Badgers (8-16, 3-6 Grand Canyon) are still holding onto fourth place in the region standings and will stay at home for the remainder of the season. Next week, they will play three matches in three days starting with a clash against Mingus (6-9, 2-5 Grand Canyon) on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 6 p.m.
“We’ve got a couple days of practice before our three games next week so we are going to try and figure it out and get all the goofy out,” Adams said.
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.