Willow Canyon spikers improve to 3-0 - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Willow Canyon spikers improve to 3-0

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Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 4:25 am | Updated: 6:29 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Willow Canyon High School volleyball team fired its third straight shutout Tuesday night. The Wildcats improved their record to 3-0 with a 25-19, 25-16, 25-20 home win against Maryvale. Willow Canyon has yet to lose a game in three matches this season, posting 3-0 wins last week against Central and Mesa Dobson. "This wasn't as pretty as the way we played last week against Dobson, but we got the job done," said Morgan Ratlief, Willow Canyon coach. "The girls played 100 times better against Dobson." The Wildcats threatened to blow out the Panthers in each game, yet always seemed to find a way to let Maryvale hang around. Willow Canyon squandered a 22-12 lead in the first game and frittered away a 12-2 advantage in the third game before closing out the match. "I think the long weekend knocked us out of our routine," the coach said. "Then we didn't have a good practice this week and that was a first for us." Despite the sluggish play, the Wildcats found key moments to turn around their fortunes. In the first game, that play came from Tanner David and Kourtney Roberts. The two joined forces to block a spike from Maryvale's Yadira Serano, who had been hitting lasers across the net from her outside blocker position. The resulting point snapped an 11-11 tie and ignited an eight-point run for the Wildcats. "Kourtney and Tanner mesh really well out there," Ratlief said. "Jadalynn Cirillo works well with those two as well." Roberts and David joined forces again in Game 2. Roberts set up David for a kill to give Willow Canyon the serve and a 21-16 lead. Roberts subsequently served out the match, assisted by Rebecca Valdez's kill from midcourt. The Wildcats raced to a 12-2 lead in the final game before Maryvale rebounded to tie the contest at 15-15. That was when Veronica D'Amato delivered a kill from backcourt that got Willow Canyon back on track. Maryvale never got closer than two points from the lead the rest of the way. Ratlief credited Kelsey Anderson as another catalyst in the win. "She picks up the team every time she's in there," Ratlief said. "She just has an attitude that she's going to win." Tiffany Weaver also turned in a crowd-pleasing play for the partisan Willow Canyon fans. Weaver raced near the scorer's table to make a save in Game 3 and then helped the Wildcats rally to win the point to take an early 2-0 lead. Willow Canyon plays host to North Canyon at 6 p.m. Thursday before participating in the Queen Creek tournament on Friday and Saturday.

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