Destiny Cleland

Destiny Cleland smashes the ball past the Lady Patriot defenders as Lady ’Stangs volleyball sweeps MALC during the season opener Sept. 5 in The Corral. Needles junior varsity girls won their two games 25-13, 25-17; the varsity won their three 25-11, 25-14 and 25-19.

NEEDLES — Lady ’Stangs volleyball gained some valuable experience in a non-conference tournament at Lake Havasu City before opening their NIAA 2A South League season with a sweep over Mountain View Christian.

The two outings began an extended series of road games for Needles’ girls, playing non-conference Pinecrest in the Las Vegas area Sept. 17 then NIAA foes The Meadows and Calvary Chapel on Sept. 20 and 27. Their next home game is again against Pinecrest during homecoming celebrations Friday, Oct. 4. JV plays at 4, varsity at 5 p.m.

The Lady ’Stangs won the first game of the first match at Mountain View 25-4, the second 25-19. The second match of the Sept. 10 series saw Needles’ girls claim 25-4 and 25-12 victories. “It always feels good to start league play with a win,” commented Coach Patricia Phelps. “Our serving was spot on. Julianna (Ortiz) and Kobrea (Phillips) had powerful serves with several aces.”

Fans who saw the girls’ first games of the season in The Corral Sept. 5 noted several are executing a jump serve this year. “That’s something we struggled with,” said Phelps. “We’ve been work on it. You have to have a decent serve to get started.”

The disparity in points between games one and two of each match, she explained, was “just giving all my girls playing time; let them play their position, get those kinds out and see what we had.”

Playing time and experimentation were obviously goals during the Havasu tournament as well. In the 21-point single game format of pool play, Lee Williams won the first game against Needles 21-14; River Valley won the second with the same score before Needles beat Laughlin 21-18. Cibola won Needles’ last pool game 21-8.

In 25-point bracket play River Valley beat Needles 25-10 and 25-14; Laughlin beat Needles 25-23 and 25-18.

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