Badgers overshadow Shadow Mountain in home opener
PRESCOTT — After splitting its first two games of the season, Prescott Volleyball knew it had to dazzle its rabid fan base at its home opener. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what the Badgers did as they fended off Shadow Mountain 3-1 on Tuesday night.
If one thing is certain, Prescott’s play style is proving to be very spry under the tutelage of first-year head coach Courtney Adams. The California native out of Oklahoma Panhandle State University said her team was excited to play at home for the first time as the Badgers, who jumped out to a 2-0 set lead, prevented the Matadors from forcing a fifth set.
“It feels really good to be able to play at home for the first time,” Adams said. “We are very excited to be here for the season and show people a little bit of what we’re going to be looking like and hoping to get more and more people to come to every game.”
The Badgers took care of business in the first couple sets as they used their height to overwhelm the Shadow Mountain defense. Junior Kate Radavich was at the forefront of Prescott’s game plan, putting the Matadors away early with lots of big hits and well-timed blocks.
The roars and cheers of the Prescott home crowd did well to engergize the Badgers throughout the match as the team comfortably took the first two set with scores of 25-15 and 25-16.
However, as most teams do when they take a commanding lead, Prescott experienced a slump in the third set and started to get somewhat complacent. This gave the Matadors an opportunity to put together a comeback bid, which was sparked when they managed to take the set 25-22.
“I think it was just that the girls were very excited and they wanted to over-perform and do more than they needed to because they really wanted to push and get that win,” Adams said on Prescott’s third-set woes. “We just told them to relax, control what you can control, do your job and trust that everyone else is going to theirs and just have faith that them all working together is going to come out to a win.”
Through most of the fourth set, Shadow Mountain continued to ride the momentum from the third and eventually held a 17-14 lead over the Badgers. Despite the deficit, the Badgers evidently listened to Adams’ advice and made one final push to chip away at the Matadors’ lead.
Once the game was tied at 19, the Badgers — with big efforts from sophomores Lexi Wasil and Keri Kasun — executed very well down the stretch while Radavich made a one-handed block right above the net to score the match point for the 25-20 victory.
Prescott (2-1) will travel down Highway 69 to face rival Bradshaw Mountain (2-1) on Thursday at 6 p.m. for the first Grand Canyon Region game of the season.
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.