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One tough Knight
The Cibola volleyball team was one point away from its first victory this season Tuesday.
But Avondale-Westview fought off two match points to win Game 4, and then started fast in Game 5 to defeat the Raiders 25-20, 19-25, 16-25, 27-25 and 15-13 at Raider Gym.
Cibola (0-3) has lost two of its three matches in five games.
"This team has had trouble with fifth games in the past, and they just tighten up a little bit," Cibola coach Vivian Klee said. "They came back much better. We've played a couple games in the fifth game where we've had to come back from so many points, but we've done it. We need to finish it now."
Leading two games to one, Cibola opened up a 21-17 edge in the fourth game, but Westview came back to tie it at 23-all.
The Raiders held match point after a Marianna Curtis kill. After Westview staved off defeat, Cibola was in position to close out the match again after a Westview attack error, but the Knights knotted the score again and sent the match into a decisive fifth game on back-to-back kills by Destiny Okonkwo and Rochelle Lauer.
The Raiders fell behind 13-7 in the fifth game but ran off six points in a row. Cibola tied the game at 13-all on a kill by Maya Van Iwaarden and a service ace by Ariel Olea. The Knights closed out the match on a tip and a service ace.
"I think they get too careful when they see the end in sight," Klee said. "It's something we have to overcome."
Katy Davidson tallied a team-high 13 kills for the Raiders, while Curtis and Myliah Ramirez chipped in six apiece.
After dropping Game 1, Cibola recovered to control the next two games. A pair of Davidson kills and a Kiara Harris service ace sparked a 6-1 Cibola run to go up 23-17 in Game 2.
And the Raiders used a 9-0 spurt midway through Game 3 to win that game going away easily. Curtis had two blocks, Davidson tallied a pair of kills and Van Iwaarden had two service aces to spark the run.
"I told them they need to keep their heads up, because we played a good match," Klee said. "There are some areas where we weren't able to put the ball away with some of our hitters and we need to put it away that's just all there is to it.
"They're a team that has not played together as a varsity and they've been overcoming all of that. We keep improving all the time, so hopefully we'll put it together come region play."