Broncs in first place, still undefeated against section rivals

By John Gutekunst

Parker Pioneer

It was a match-up between the No. 11 team in 2A volleyball, the Arizona Lutheran Academy Coyotes, and the No. 12 team, the Parker Broncs, Oct. 18 in Parker. Parker High Athletic Director Dan Maya said this would be an exciting night of high school volleyball. Two of the games went into extra points. In the end, the Broncs came out on top, 3 games to 1.

This was the second time the Broncs have defeated the Coyotes this season. With this win, the Broncs are still undefeated against their 2A West rivals and are in first place in the section at 6-0. They also vaulted past the Coyotes and are now ranked No. 10 in the state.

The Broncs took the first game, 25-16. The second game turned into a thriller, when the Broncs overcoming an early deficit to catch up with the Coyotes. With the Coyotes at game point, the Broncs tied it at 24-24. They tied it two more times to keep the Coyotes from getting the two-point margin they needed for the win. Finally, they got at two-point margin and won, 28-26.

The third game was equal for much of the way. Then, with the Broncs ahead, 17-15, Parker began to pull away. The Coyotes almost caught up to them and were within two points, 19-17. After that, the Broncs took things up a notch and scored six unanswered points to win it, 25-17.

The fourth game was a thriller, with the Broncs overcoming what was at one point a 6-point deficit. The Coyotes held a 23-18 lead when the Broncs went on a tear and took the lead, 24-23, to find themselves at game and match point. Then, the Coyotes tied it to force the game into extra points. The Broncs quickly put two points on the board to win it, 26-24.

Demi Durham led Parker’s offense with 19 kills. Taylor Ruiz had three blocks and setter Savana Flores had 35 assists. Tatiana Cuadras served up four aces. Elisa Martinez had 33 digs on defense.

Assistant Coach Dan Maya said the Broncs played very well against a tough team.

“They’re very good,” Maya said of Arizona Lutheran Academy. “They didn’t make a lot of mistakes. The only way to score was to kill it.”

Earlier in the week, the Broncs defeated another 2A West rival, the Tonopah Valley Phoenix, in four games Oct. 16 in Tonopah. The Broncs won the first game, 25-15; the second game, 25-20; and the fourth game, 25-20. The Phoenix took the third game, 26-24.

This was the last home game of the 2018 season, and it was also Seniors Night. There were special presentations to the four senior players, Savana Flores, Elisa Martinez, Kaila Maxwell and Taylor Ruiz. There was a video presentation on their careers at Parker High. There was also recognition of the two senior managers, Aubrey Lotts and Valerie Valenzuela.

The Broncs are now 6-0 in the 2A West and are in first place in the section. They’re 6-2 against 2A teams, and 10-5 overall.

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, the Broncs will face the Trivium Prep Crimson Knights, the second place team in the 2A West. They’re at 5-1 against their section rivals, and the only team to defeat them was the Parker Broncs. They’re 9-2 against 2A teams and 11-3 overall. They’re ranked No. 7 in the state.

Maya said the outcome of this game will decide the section championship. If the Broncs were to lose, they and the Knights would have 6-1 record in the section. The Arizona Interscholastic Association would award the championship to the Knights as they have the better record against 2A teams and the better record overall.

“If we want to win the section title, we have to beat Trivium Prep,” Maya said.

The Broncs will close out the 2018 regular season Oct. 25 on the road when they play the Heritage Academy Heroes of Laveen.

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