Call them the Cardiac Broncs. For the second time in one week, the Parker Broncs volleyball team came back from being down 2 sets to none to win a match. They defeated one of the top teams in the 2A conference, the Phoenix Country Day School Eagles, 3 sets to 2, Sept. 14 in Parker.
Earlier in the week, the Broncs did the same thing against another perennially tough opponent, the Yuma Catholic Shamrocks.
Except for the first game, all five games were thrillers that could’ve gone either way. The winner wasn’t clear until the final point was scored.
“That was some good volleyball tonight,” Parker Assistant Coach Dan Maya said.
Parker Head Coach Marie Maya has one word to describe the match: “Wow!”
The Broncs dropped the first game, 25-17. They kept the second game close, tying it several times and seeing the lead go back and forth. The Eagles were at set point with the score 24-22 when the Broncs scored two points to tie it at 24-24 and sent it into extra points (in volleyball, a team must have a margin of two or more points to win). The Eagles put two points on the board to win it, 26-24.
With their backs against the wall, the Broncs came out strong in the third game. It was similar to the second game, with some incredible plays from both teams and the lead changing hands repeatedly. The final results, however, were different. After the Eagles tied it as 23-23, it was the Broncs who quickly put two points on the board to win it, 25-23.
The fourth game started out close and remained that way until almost the end. That’s when the Broncs began to pull away. The Broncs had a four-point lead, but saw cut to just two points when the score was Broncs 19, Eagles 17. If was then the Broncs put on a spurt that saw them take a six-point lead. When it was over, the score was Parker 25, PCDS 19.
The final and deciding game was the sort of exciting contest that was fitting for ending this match. Again, the lead changed hands on more than one occasion. The Eagles had a 12-9 lead when the Broncs put on a spurt to close the gap and win it, 15-13.
Parker’s offense was led by their two outside hitters, Tatiana Cuadras and Demi Durham. Cuadras had 22 kills while Durham had 20. In addition, Cuadras served up four aces. Alicia Briones had 12 kills, as well two blocks and serving up an ace. Zahrah Schultz had three kills, served two aces and made five blocks. Casandra Sandoval served three aces and Tallia Robledo had one kill and one ace.
Dan Maya said the team started the match slow. He said they need to work on coming out stronger and faster.
This week, the Broncs will play Kingman Academy on the road Sept. 17, and then face another top quality team, the Scottsdale Christian Eagles, Sept. 18 at home. The Eagles are expected to contend for the 2A state title this year. In their only match so far this year, they defeated the Payson Longhorns, 3 games to none.
Game time for the varsity against Scottsdale Christian is 6 p.m.