Kings, Shamrocks ready for state
Kofa volleyball coach Brittany Garcia received an e-mail that finally put her worries to rest. Her Kings were going to state.
Kofa and Yuma Catholic will represent Yuma in the state volleyball tournament in Division I and IV respectively, with Kofa starting today and the Shamrocks on Thursday.
The Kings snuck in as a No. 16 seed, but Garcia had her doubts the way the rankings were playing themselves out.
“Throughout the season I kept checking the brackets and stuff and it actually had us low, about 22 or 21,” she said. “So I was a little nervous.”
Turns out there was an issue with the system due to not entering tournament games into the equation, Garcia said, but once they fixed the problem, Kofa squeezed it's way into the equation.
“They fixed it last week so we were ranked No. 16,” Garcia said. “So I kind of had an idea we were going to be 16, but we still had a couple games that weren't played yet and they still needed to put in for other teams. I still wasn't 100 percent that that's what we were going to go in as.”
But now she is as the No. 16 Kings will face off against No. 1 ranked Horizon Thursday after good year in Yuma.
“We actually did pretty well here in Yuma,” she said. “We beat every single team here and we beat them all in three games so that was pretty good, that was definitely an achievement in my mind. Beating Havasu outside of the Yuma area, that was definitely an achievement as well.”
Kofa's two losses were sweeps at the hands of two Phoenix teams. After those losses, Garcia knows that her team has one thing they have to work on.
“I learned that my team needs to have more confidence in themselves,” Garcia said. “It's hard for us as a Yuma team to really get out and play teams outside of our area, because of the change in schedule that they put on us. So it's mainly confidence that we need to work on and knowing that we can compete against these teams.”
The No. 12 seeded Shamrocks are facing No. 5 Parker on Thursday, and even though they're 0-2 against the Broncos, head coach Maris Grasis has seen marked improvement over those two matches.
Yuma Catholic lost the first match to Parker in a blow out, but the second match was much closer. They lost 29-27, 27-25, 25-23.
“Even though they beat us in all three, we definitely improved from the first time we played them,” Grasis said. “We're really looking forward to playing them again and see where we've come the past three weeks.”
Grasis said that drawing a familiar team is a big advantage, since unlike sports like football, there's no film to watch.
“Here they have a good sense that we can compete and if we have one or two less errors that we definitely can win,” he said. “So they're really looking forward to going up on Thursday and competing.”
Yuma Catholic was 14-4 in the regular season and went through some growing pains early in the year, but Grasis says the strongest attribute to his team is the camaraderie.
“One nice advantage I had going into the year was as a group they all liked each other,” he said. “So them working together wasn't going to be a problem. They really enjoyed not only practicing together but hanging out together and definitely competing together. That was really good, that really helped us through the season.”
It also has them as motivated as ever in practice this week.
“The great thing as a coach is they're really looking forward to practice this week which is really good,” Grasis said. “It makes my job a lot easier. It should be a really good match.”