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River Valley sweeps Yuma High
After a dig by Yuma High libero Jessica Guerrero, two Criminal players came together — each yielding the next shot before the ball dropped to the floor.
It was that kind of night for the Criminals, who struggled with communication and serve return and lost at home to River Valley 25-19, 25-17, 25-21 on Tuesday.
“Miscommunication is fixable. We had a little lack of confidence in some of the younger players; those things will come in time,” Yuma High coach Tish Malone said.
The Criminals (0-3) had a hard time all night returning the serves of the Dust Devils — Malone called it “our worst serve return of the season.”
Senior outside hitter Janeana Kosterlistzky had a team-high 15 kills to go along with four aces. Guerrero led the team with eight digs while senior middle blocker Baylee Franklin finished with six aces.
A week after a grueling five-game loss to Cibola to start the season, Malone felt that maybe giving her Criminals the Labor Day weekend off would help them be fresh for their match against River Valley. After the match, Malone felt that may have backfired.
“I probably made a mistake not practicing them this weekend over the three-day weekend. That was probably a mistake on my part. It didn't work out the way I thought it would. I thought it threw them off their rhythm, quite honestly.”
The Criminals and Dust Devils went back and forth in the first game, with Yuma High trailing 21-19 late. However, some key mistakes — including a service error and an ace by River Valley's Alicia Larrabee — gave the Dust Devils four straight points to take the game.
It was the same story in the second game, when an ace by Franklin brought the deficit to 18-17. But Yuma High made a few mistakes down the stretch, and River Valley rattled off seven straight points.
“We've made a lot of changes the last couple weeks that have hurt us. We're still adapting to it. We brought up a few players and put them in places they didn't really know. We lost our setter right before the season, so our setters now are learning on the job,” Malone said.
In the final game, the Criminals were once again in good position late, with the score tied 21-21, but the Dust Devils picked up four straight points to take the match.
“It was like everybody was a step off. I didn't feel the energy I felt the last couple games,” Malone said.