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Lady Vikes win some, lose some in marathon week of volleyball

Lady Vike Dara Bowden goes for a kill against the Grand Canyon Lady Phantoms in the Ash Fork tournament Sept. 11. Loretta Yerianl/WGCN

Lady Vike Dara Bowden goes for a kill against the Grand Canyon Lady Phantoms in the Ash Fork tournament Sept. 11. Loretta Yerianl/WGCN

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Williams Lady Vikings had a big week of volleyball playing 10 games between Sept. 8 and Sept. 12.

On Sept. 8, the Vikes traveled to Grand Canyon where they beat the Phantoms (3-1).

They then traveled to Colorado City on Sept. 10 to play El Capitan where they again won (3-1).

"It was close," head coach Chesney Grantham said. "We lost the first one 26-28, won the second and third 25-18, and then killed them in the last one 25-9."

Following the six-hour drive back from Colorado City Sept. 10, the Lady Vikes headed to the Ash Fork tournament the morning of Sept. 11. They played eight sets over the next two days of the tournament.

"They were all a little groggy when they stepped on the court," Grantham said.

The tournament was the best of three sets. The Vikings lost the first game to Ash Fork in two close games 20-25 and 22-25.

"We just have got to get better at our jump start," Grantham said. "There was no energy (after the trip to Colorado City) and it was completely understandable."

After the Ash Fork game, Williams played Grand Canyon and Mayer the afternoon of Sept. 11 winning both games (2-0).

Saturday morning the Vikings faced Seligman and won both games 25-14.

"The girls played together, they played smart," Grantham said.

After Seligman, the girls played Joseph City in a close, exciting game. The Vikings won 26-24 and 25-21.

"The Joseph City game was so intense," Grantham said. "The girls were on point. It was fun to watch, it was fun volleyball."

The girls lost the next game to Ash Fork again going 20-25 and 22-25. They then faced Joseph City in their final game winning one set, losing the second set and losing the last set in a close game 15-12.

"They were close games, the girls played tough," Grantham said. "We made some silly mistakes that we're going to work on this week. Serving errors were a lot of our downfall."

Grantham was impressed with the defense play of Destiny Pennington and Rhiannon Koss. Dara Bowden and Kami Batterton led the offense charge with strong serves, hard digs and accurate hitting.

Grantham praised her younger girls for stepping up due to varsity injuries. Grantham noted that Riley Heap moved in for the first time as a middle blocker and held the position well.

Andrea Hernandez was chosen as the Coaches Pick All-Tournament player at the tournament. The coaches nominate and vote on their pick of the best all around player for each team. Hernandez was chosen for her hustle, accuracy and dependability as a setter.

"I couldn't be more proud of them," Grantham said. "They played well together. They were so competitive. They were definitely something to watch. I'm so proud of them."

Ash Fork played Joseph City in the final game Saturday evening. Ash Fork came out on top beating Joseph City for the championship title.

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