East Region front runners tangle in Morenci on Thursday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci senior Juliauna Forgach-Aguilar slams down a hit against Willcox. The Wildcats took the match in four sets on Oct. 12. The No. 7 Pima Roughriders visit No. 11 Morenci in an East Region pairing Thursday, Oct. 14.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – The 2A East Region front runners tangle in Wildcat Memorial Gymnasium on Thursday, Oct. 14. Seventh-ranked Pima (8-4 seeding, 10.3898 rating, 5-0 region) visits No. 11 Morenci (7-2, 7.1639, 4-1 region).

The Roughriders arrive fresh from a four-set (24-26, 17-25, 25-20, 21-25) home loss to No. 2 Scottsdale Christian on Oct. 13 while the Wildcats defeated No. 21 Willcox in four sets (25-21, 23-25, 25-11, 25-23) in Morenci on Oct. 12.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci junior Celina Manuz goes low for a dig against Willcox.

Pima has triumphed in 27-of-40 sets, winning once during four sets (25-13, 25-12, 21-25, 25-14) against Willcox (Oct. 5) as well as seven times in three sets. Those wins were over Saint David (25-11, 25-15, 25-10) on Sept. 7, Fort Thomas (25-8, 25-11, 25-11) on Sept. 14, Safford (25-14, 25-16, 25-20) on Sept 21, Benson (25-11, 25-15, 25-13) on Sept. 28, Morenci (25-14, 25-12, 25-22) on Sept. 30, Tombstone (25-7, 25-17, 25-12) on Oct. 7, and Bisbee (25-6, 25-7, 25-11) on Oct. 12.

The Roughriders have also lost in four sets twice, to Texas-El Paso Eastwood (13-25, 17-25, 25-19, 20-25) on Sept. 3 and to Thatcher (18-25, 21-25, 25-20, 14-25) on Sept. 23, and in three sets to Thatcher (22-25, 23-25, 17-25) on Aug. 31.

Official team statistics through Oct. 12 have the Roughriders with percentages of 98 (1,774-1,809) in ball handling, 87 (1,379-1,580) in serves, 83 (816-985) in serve receives, 83 (681-820) in digs, 82 (1,581-1,936) in attacks, and 74 (66-89) in blocks. The Roughriders averaged 9.4 kills, 3.8 aces, and 1.3 blocks per set.

Pima’s 11-member squad, coached by Keoni Bailado, includes seniors Saydee Allred, Taylen Bloomfield, Kaitlyn Mecham, Samantha Piippo, Ashlie Sherwood, Aubrie Sherwood along with juniors Bailey Boren, Princess Cabrera, Ashlynn Chlarson, Dyllin Derrick, and Jayci McClain.

Morenci has won 27-37 sets, once in five, twice in four, and four times in three. The five-set win was over New Mexico Silver (25-19, 25-15, 21-25, 21-25, 15-8) on Aug. 31; the 4-set wins over Benson (21-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-15) on Oct. 7 and Willcox; and the 3-set wins were over Kearny Ray (25-4, 25-9, 25-8) on Sept. 2, over San Carlos (25-14, 25-9, 25-22) on Sept. 7, over Bisbee (25-14, 25-11, 25-17) on Sept. 28, and over Tombstone (25-13, 25-14, 25-17) on Oct. 5.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci leadoff server, sophomore Alizabeth Aguilar, surveys the defense before putting the ball in play.

The Wildcats have succumbed in three sets twice, to Pima (12-25, 12-25, 22-25) on Sept. 30 and to Phoenix Country Day School (10-25, 15-25, 16-25) on Oct. 2.

Morenci’s 12-member squad, coached by Jamie Pomaski, has seniors Celine Berube, Juliauna Forgach-Aguilar, Rayla Funari, Santana Garcia, Devanee Medina, and Viviana Mendez-Draper; juniors Kryzzia Cortez, Alicia Cruz, Celina Manuz, Mia Ontiveros, and Sonia Roybal; and sophomore Alizabeth Aguilar.

The junior varsity teams are 5-6 for Pima and 4-6 for Morenci while freshmen teams are 5-4 for Pima and 4-2 for Morenci.

The East Region standings at noon on Oct. 14 were No. 7 Pima first, No. 11 Morenci second, No. 21 Benson (8-6, 1.7678, 3-2 region) third, No. 23 Willcox (7-4, 1.0823, 1-4 region) fourth, No. 27 Bisbee (7-6, minus 1.41333, 1-4 region) fifth, and No. 29 Tombstone (6-7, minus 2.1247, 1-4 region) sixth.

Central Region members numbered five in the Top 24; East, West, and Valley Regions four apiece; North and Metro Regions three each; and one independent.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci senior Rayla Funari returns the ball across the net.

The Top 24 ranked 2A teams of 47 on Oct. 14 were No. 1 Chandler Prep (14-0, 21.8985, 7-0 Valley Region), No. 2 Scottsdale Christian (10-1, 17.6103, 3-0 Metro Region), No. 3 Phoenix Country Day (11-1, 16.7447, 2-0 Metro Region), No. 4 Glendale Trivium Prep (9-2, 14.4949, 5-0 West Region), No. 5 Phoenix Veritas Prep (10-3, 11.8960, 1-1 Metro Region), No. 6 Scottsdale Rancho Solano Prep (11-2, 11.5583, 5-1 Valley Region), No. 7 Pima, No. 8 Arizona Lutheran (9-4, 8.3815, 4-1 West Region), No. 9 Eagar Round Valley (10-2, 7.8213, 7-0 North Region), No. 10 Sedona Red Rock (9-3, 7.6982, 5-1 Central Region), No. 11 Morenci, No. 12 Kingman Academy (9-3, 6.9767, 4-2 West Region), No. 13 Phoenix Horizon Honors (7-7, 6.5452, 4-3 Valley Region), No. 14 Scottsdale Prep (8-5, 6.3896, 5-2 Central Region), No. 15 Glendale Desert Heights Prep (9-3, 6.2602, 5-2 Central Region), No. 16 Flagstaff Northland Prep (7-4, 5.1056, 5-2 Central Region), No. 17 Gilbert Classical (7-6, 4.4547, 4-2 Valley Region), No. 18 Ganado (8-4, 3.5601, 3-3 North Region), No. 19 Avondale Saint John Paul II (6-6, 2.4707, 2-4 West Region), No. 20 Phoenix Madison Highland (8-3, 1.8950, Independent), No. 21 Benson, No. 22 Glendale Prep (4-7, 1.1113, 2-4 Central Region), No. 23 Willcox, and No. 24 Saint Johns (5-5, 0.3243, 5-2 North Region).

The initial Top 24 rankings for then 46 teams on Sept. 28 were No. 1 Chandler Prep (10-0, 19.2204), No. 2 Scottsdale Christian (4-1, 12.7397), No. 3 Scottsdale Rancho Solano Prep (8-1, 12.3398), No. 4 Phoenix Country Day (6-1, 11.4652), No. 5 Glendale Trivium Prep (7-2, 11.0535), No. 6 Glendale Desert Heights Prep (7-1, 10.2210), No. 7 Pima, No. 8 Sedona Red Rock (7-2, 7.0361), No. 9 Phoenix Veritas Prep (5-1, 6.8899), No. 10 Arizona Lutheran (6-3, 6.6389), No. 11 Kingman Academy (5-2, 5.6998), No. 12 Phoenix Horizon Honors (6-5, 5.1545), No. 13 Flagstaff Northland Prep (5-2, 5.0241), No. 14 Benson, No. 15 Ganado (5-2, 4.2941), No. 16 Eagar Round Valley (5-2,4.1955), No. 17 Scottsdale Prep (5-4, 1.1818), No. 18 Willcox, No. 19 Avondale Saint John Paul II (4-2, 3.6525), No. 20 Morenci, No. 21 Gilbert Classical (5-5, 2.0205), No. 22 Maricopa Sequoia Pathway (6-4, 1.3145), No. 23 Valley Lutheran (3-4, 1.0579), and No. 24 Bisbee (6-2, 0.7943).

Wildcats – 3, Cowgirls – 1

The visitors trailed during the entire first set and were within two 23-21 on their serve, but a Juliauna Forgach-Aguilar kill and an errant serve receive gave Morenci the two points for the win.

A set two 4-4 tie was broken by a Morenci hitting error and the Cowgirls went ahead to stay, leading by as much as six, 15-9. Morenci got within one 23-24 but a Willcox kill gave the Cowgirls their final point.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci defenders, sophomore Alizabeth Aguilar (12), and senior Rayla Funari block a Willcox hit.

Morenci led 2-0 in the third before an errant block gave Willcox a point. An Aguilar kill put the hosts ahead by two again. The Wildcats got as much as a 9-point advantage thrice (15-6, 18-9, 20-11) before scoring four unanswered points to win the set.

The fourth set had 10 ties, the final at 23-23. A second Alizabeth Aguilar tip broke the tie and the Wildcats added the set winner to take the match.

Please follow and like us: