The Parker Broncs volleyball team played its second region match Tuesday, Oct. 8, and they had another sweep, defeating the Arizona Lutheran Academy Coyotes, 3 sets to 0. However, the match was a lot closer than a sweep would usually indicate. The Broncs won the first set handily, 25-12. They had to come from behind to win the next two sets, 25-22 and 27-25.
“We know Arizona Lutheran is always tough,” Assistant Coach Dan Maya said after the match.
The Broncs took an early lead in the first set and never fell behind. The Coyotes tied it early on at 4-4, but the Broncs soon pulled away. They built up their lead to eight points, 18-10, when the Coyotes scored twice to cut the lead to six points 18-12. The Broncs closed out the game with seven unanswered points to win it, 25-12.
In the second set, the Broncs jumped out to an 8-4 lead, but the Coyotes came back to tie it up and then surge ahead. The lead went back and forth, and then the Coyotes seemed to surge ahead with a four-point lead, 19-15. The Broncs kicked things into a higher gear and caught up, 21-21. From there, they had enough to pull ahead of the Coyotes and win it, 25-22.
For much of the third set, it looked like the Coyotes were going to avoid the sweep. They led most of the way, with the Broncs playing catch-up. The Coyotes were at set point, with the score Arizona Lutheran 24, Parker 23. The Broncs scored to tie the game at 24-24 and sent it into extra points (in Arizona, a volleyball team must win by a margin of two or more points). The Broncs scored three more times to one for the Coyotes to win it, 27-25.
Tatiana Cuadras got a lot of hits in for the Broncs as she led the offense with 13 kills. Demi Durham had 8 kills, Alicia Briones and Talia Robeldo each had 5 kills, Zarah Schultz had 3, and Tyra Robledo had 1.
The Broncs were making good serves all night. Durham served up 9 aces, Schultz and Cuadras each served 4, and Tyra Robledo, a freshman, served 3 aces.
“She’s a freshman, and she served three aces in the clutch,” Maya said.
The Broncs also succeeded in scoring points on blocks. Talia Robledo, Briones and Schultz each had a block.
Maya remarked that the players really stepped up when they needed to.
“Zarah and Tatiana really played tough,” he said.
The Broncs are now 9-2 overall. The 2-0 against their 2A West rivals, and 3-1 against other 2A teams. They are currently ranked No. 4 in the state in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point rankings.
For their remaining games, the Broncs have nothing but matches against their 2A West rivals. Their next match will be Oct. 15 at the Heritage Academy of Laveen. They’ll play the Trivium Prep Crimson Knights Oct. 17 in Goodyear. Their next home date will be Oct. 18, when they play the Heritage Academy Heroes of Laveen. The varsity is scheduled to 6 p.m. in the O.B. Francis Gym.