NEEDLES — It was a win for the Needles High School Lady ’Stangs against the Mohave Accelerated Learning Center Lady Patriots on Sept. 5 in The Corral.
The Match ended with the scores of 25-11, 25-14 and 25-19; giving the Lady ’Stangs a sweep over the Lady Patriots.
Despite being the first game for the Lady ’Stangs they came out with intensity from the start of the game. They were engaged and focused on every play, which led to a couple of diving saves.
In the first game, the Lady ’Stangs came out strong and built a six-point lead over the Lady Patriots, primarily coming from great serves from Kobrea Phillips. The Lady Patriots were able to stop the run by scoring three which made the score 6-3, but a couple of plays later the Lady ’Stangs again seized the momentum and ran the score up to 12-7.
“We have a lot of new people on varsity. I only have two returning varsity players so they did a great job today,” said Patricia Phelps, Lady ’Stangs volleyball head coach. “It was a new rotation for most of them but they did a great job.”
The second game was like the first game where the Lady ’Stangs came out strong, jumped ahead on the score and the Lady Patriots struggled to break the serve.
During the game, the Lady Patriots were struggling with unforced errors which gave a lot of free points to the Lady ’Stangs. However, the Lady Patriots did have instances throughout the game where they forced the Lady ’Stangs to commit an error which helped them get the points they needed to get back into the game.
The Lady ’Stangs started with a 5-3 lead which they quickly increased to 10-4. A couple of kills and aces later the Lady ’Stangs had an 18-9 lead over the Lady Patriots and they kept the lead until the end of the game.
The third game started differently. The Lady Patriots were the aggressive ones; starting with an 8-3 lead over the Lady ’Stangs.
“Sometimes they run out of gas in the games and they don’t pick up their intensity,” said Phelps. “But today they picked up their intensity and we’ve been practicing on having more endurance so we can finish games strong.”
The Lady ’Stangs regrouped and a couple of plays later they had closed the gap, making the score 9-6. Later in the game, the Lady ’Stangs made the score 13-11 and after two unforced errors committed by the Lady Patriots, the score was tied 13-13. Needles’ girls had a chance to take the lead on the next play but a serve that went out of bounds gave the Lady Patriots a 14-13 lead. A couple of hard-fought plays later the score was tied 17-17. Then, after a great dig, the Lady ’Stangs were able to hit the ball over the net which caused the Lady Patriots to commit an unforced error. After taking an 18-17 lead the Lady ’Stangs were able to hold it until the end of the third game.
“I think we need to be a little more consistent on serving and we need to work with some girls to get them comfortable in their positions,” said Phelps. “Next we have a tournament in Lake Havasu City and I told the girls that everyone is getting playing time to see what we need to work on before we start the league games.”
League play was to begin Sept. 10. The Lady ’Stangs are on a string of road games in the NIAA 2A South League. They’ll return to Needles to host Pinecrest during homecoming, Oct. 4.