The Camp Verde High School volleyball team lost 3-0 [14-25, 15-25, 14-25] to Bourgade Catholic High School on Thursday, Sept. 14.
The Cowboys [1-6] struggled to consistently put together strong attacks, but put the visiting Golden Eagles on their heels during spurts.
“Confidence, we lacked a lot in confidence. It’s an area that we’re constantly working on,” Cowboys head coach Britney Armstrong said. “We just let them totally have control of the tempo and dictate the speed of everything.”
Armstrong was disappointed in the difference between the match against the Golden Eagles versus the match against Payson High School on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Against the Longhorns, Armstrong said, the team had much more confidence, and it showed.
In each of the three games Camp Verde started strong, but unforced errors gave Bourgade Catholic free points. The Golden Eagles would compound that with strong attacks, led by junior outside hitter Erica Sandoval.
Many of the Cowboys’ attacks resulted in free balls being sent over, allowing Bourgade Catholic to connect well in attack.
For the Cowboys, blocking at the net was the brightest spot, led by freshman middle blocker Maya Hedges and sophomore Kendall Peterson. In the second game those blocks fueled a charge of momentum, and junior outside hitter Rachel Stockseth began to get kills.
“I was able to just tell them what to do to adjust for their blocks and they did it and so that was really great for them to do,” Armstrong said. “They’ve been doing a fantastic job blocking. They’re really zoned in on it.”
The third game was Camp Verde’s best. Down 7-13, it got on a 6-1 run to pull within one at 13-14. Stockseth grabbed a pair of strong kills, Hedges killed an overpass at the net and senior outside hitter Jade Oium hit a service ace along the way.
In the past the team has focused more on defense, and now the focus has shifted more to the attack. Attacks are formed, but not finished.
Bourgade Catholic would win most of the long rallies.
“We do have a good pass and we do have a good set but we just can’t finish, and it’s such a crusher,” Armstrong said. “It’s showing that we’re improving because now we’re getting the balls to the setter to hit in attack.”
The team opened Central Region play on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at home against Northland Preparatory Academy, but results were unavailable at press time.
It next plays on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Phoenix Country Day School Desert Classic.