The Parker Broncs’ varsity girls’ volleyball team started their season Aug. 24 with a scrimmage against the Lake Havasu Knights in Lake Havasu City. Things get real Aug. 28, when they play the same Knights in their season opener in the O.B. Francis Gym at Parker High School.
The Broncs are coming off a 2017 season that saw them fail to make the post-season for the first time in 17 years.
Of the scrimmage, Coach Marie Maya said, “We learned a lot.”
“Everyone got to play,” she continued. “They started to figure things out for themselves. By the end, they were getting more confident and comfortable with each other.”
Maya said the team is very athletic and has a lot of potential. They’re trying some new things this year. The team will have a libero for the first time since Sam Sosa played for them.
The libero is Elisa Martinez. Maya explained a libero is a defensive specialist who works in the back row. She can go in without it being counted as a substitution. Martinez is a good leader and she’s very vocal, which Maya said is what’s needed to get the ball to the setter or the hitters.
Assistant Coach Dan Maya said the team is in a unique position this year in that they have two good setters, Savana Flores and Zarah Schultz. Not only are they setters, but they are also hitters. When the team rotates and they’re in the front row, they’ll be doing a lot of hitting.
As for the season, Marie Maya needs to figure things out quickly, as they have a tougher schedule this year.
“We wanted to play teams who could help us in the rankings,” she said.
Dan Maya, who is also Parker High’s Athletic Director, said they tried to toughen up the schedule so the team has a better chance of making the playoffs. He said they did this because of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power points system. As an example, he noted the Broncs’ baseball team had an excellent season in 2018 and finished second in the 2A West. However, they did not make the playoffs because they didn’t have enough power points. Several teams with worse records than the Broncs did make the playoffs because of their power points.
“It really depends on who you play,” he said. “You can get more points by losing to a tough team than you can be defeating a weaker team.”
Both of the Mayas said they are looking forward to the start of the season Aug. 28.
The varsity is set to play the Lake Havasu Knights at 6 p.m. Aug. 28 in the O.B. Francis Gym. They’ll follow that match with a match against the Paradise Honors Panthers Thursday, Aug. 30.