The Parker Broncs’ volleyball team started play against their 2A West regional rivals with a sweep of the Tonopah Valley Phoenix. They then participated in their biggest tournament of the year: the 96-team Chandler Prep Invitational.

The match played Oct. 3 at Tonopah saw the Broncs winning three sets by scores of 25-11, 25-9 and 25-11. Parker Head Coach Marie Maya said the Broncs may have been helped by Tonopah Valley’s starting setter being out with the flu. She added that the Phoenix are usually a tough team to play, and they have a great coach.

“I have a lot of respect for their coach,” she said.

While she didn’t have any stats on the match, she said Demi Durham, Tatiana Cuadras and Alicia Briones all hit the ball well.

“Our blocking has really improved,” she said. “We need to work on our passing.”

In regular season play, the Broncs are now 8-2 overall, 1-0 against their 2A West rivals, and 2-1 against other 2A teams. They’re ranked No. 4 in 2A according to the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point ratings.

On Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5, the Broncs were at the Chandler Prep Invitational. Assistant Coach Dan Maya said they played some very tough teams.

In pool play Oct. 4, the Broncs went 2-1, losing to Veritas Prep, another 2A school. Maya said Veritas went on to become the champions of the tournament. The Broncs defeated Mogollon, the top-rated 1A team in the state and the defending 1A state champions. They also defeated a 5A school, Marana-Mountain View.

Maya said this put the Broncs in the platinum bracket for the top 16 teams. The Broncs lost to St. Mary’s in the first round and went to the consolation bracket. They defeated another 2A team, the Sedona Red Rock Scorpions. However, they were eliminated from the tournament when they lost to a 6A school, Boulder Creek.

“We played some really strong teams,” Maya said. “This exposed what we need to work on as well as our strengths.”

This comes at the time the Broncs are gearing up to face their 2A West rivals.

“All the tournaments are out of the way,” Maya said. “Now it’s time for region play.”

Maya said the Broncs have the potential to be region champions. Their biggest rivals will be the Trivium Prep Crimson Knights and the Arizona Lutheran Academy Coyotes.

They’ll face one of those rivals this week, on Tuesday, Oct. 8, when the Arizona Lutheran Coyotes come to town. This is Homecoming Week, and school spirit will be at a high pitch.

Maya said Arizona Lutheran is always a tough school to face.

“They always seem to find a way to be competitive,” he said.

The freshmen are set for 4 p.m., the junior varsity at 5 p.m., and the varsity at 6 p.m.

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