Mesquite VB

Mesquite’s girls’ volleyball program dropped both of its matches Saturday on the second day of the the Tournament of Champions.

On the second day of the Tournament of Champions, hosted by Mesquite High School, Mesquite girls’ volleyball fell to both Liberty and Sunnyslope high schools, 2-0.

In its first set against Liberty, Mesquite fell behind early, losing by a score of 6-3. Eventually, the girls would go down 12-7, with junior captain Ryleigh Vollmer leading the way for the Wildcats.

“I think we have a lot to improve on,” Vollmer said. “We had really good energy throughout the game, and it was really fun.”

Head coach Carlos Flys echoed a similar sentiment to his team captain. Eight seniors graduated last year, leaving mostly freshmen and sophomores on the Wildcat roster.

Later in the first set, sophomore Maddie Purdy served for the Wildcats. After a tough volley, the combination of sophomore libero Ava Castro and Vollmer helped to secure the point, making the score 14-8.

“I think that we came together really well and had a really good bond,” Castro said. “We had really good energy, Liberty is just a really good team.”

Sophomore middle blocker Jasmine Vedeler tried to help the team come back with a kill in the first set to make the score 16-9. However, the Wildcats could not recover and lost the first set by a score of 25-12.

In the second set, Mesquite tried to stay close with the Lions. However, Liberty came out early after a couple of mistakes by the Wildcats.

Shortly after a failed serve by Mesquite, Liberty secured four points in a row, leaving the Wildcats down 7-3 early on.

The Wildcats would not make the comeback after the early deficit, losing 25-8, giving Liberty the 2-0 win.

Mesquite’s second match of the day against Sunnyslope wasn’t easy, as the Wildcats went down early in the first set, 18-5. going down early in the first set, 18-5. Mesquite’s youth put them at a disadvantage against division 6A teams. The Wildcats are a division 4A team.

“I expected all these teams to be really good,” Vollmer said. “But I expected us to be able to keep up with them.”

The Wildcats couldn’t come together, and after a spike from the Vikings late in the first set, it was 24-7 in favor of Sunnyslope.

However, despite the deficit, the Wildcats fought hard, with freshman libero Zoey Lastine diving hard for the ball on three separate occasions.

The Vikings won the first set by a score of 25-8. Going into the second set, the Vikings struck first, going up 1-0.

After a hit by Castro and a failed return by Sunnyslope senior Jaelyn Juniel, the score was tied at 1-1.

The Vikings would rally three more points to go up 4-1 over the Wildcats. Although the Wildcats were losing, the team spirits were high, never taking a smile off their faces on the court.

In set two, despite being down 9-5, Vollmer served. After a dig by senior Isabella Davis, the team were unable to secure the point, going down 10-5.

“We’re definitely learning a lot,” Flys said. “The team is so young, and they have so much to improve on and to be excited for.”

Sunnyslope defeated Mesquite 25-16, sweeping them 2-0.

Mesquite will play next at home against Estrella High School on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.

Lauren Hertz is a sports journalism student at Arizona State University covering Mesquite High School athletics.

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