Sneakers squeaked on the hardwood floor. “Out” and “three” echoed throughout the gymnasium. Chants of “Let’s go Huskies,” were answered with “Let’s go Pride.”
But after the final shot struck the court, Hamilton stood tall, claiming the match three sets to one, 25-14, 25-18, 22-25, 25-14 over host Mountain Pointe on Wednesday.
Despite the near sweep, Husky coach Sharon Vanis has seen some improvement in Mountain Pointe (2-1).
“Mountain Pointe is a much improved team,” Vanis said. “Anytime you can get a win is good, but it’s even better on the road against a quality opponent.”
She said her team became lackadaisical in the third set and made a lot of mental errors they don’t normally make.
“We tried running a quicker offense with more efficient passing, and we saw them do that tonight,” Vanis said. “But that third set, we hit three or four in a row out of bounds and we can’t do that.”
In the third set, the Pride erased a six-point deficit, but then almost blew their own six-point lead. They hung on for a 25-22 victory forcing a fourth set.
“We made a lot of mistakes out there tonight. We gave them a lot of points because we were in the net so much,” Mountain Pointe coach Karen Gray said.
Gray said this was the first time in her tenure as head coach the team had been able to take a set away from Hamilton, and there is a lot to build on with that.
Senior and captain Whitley Doss, who had six kills in the match, said she knows this wasn’t her best game.
“I look at that and I know that’s not good enough. I had 11 in my first game so I see that and I know I need to step up and help the team,” Doss said.
Hamilton will look to continue their winning ways against Gilbert on Thursday. On the other side of the net, Mountain Point will look to bounce back against St. Mary’s on Sept. 17.
• Will Argeros is a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.