Catalina Foothills had Salpointe on the ropes several times Tuesday night but the Lancers just kept on coming and coming. It’s much too early to use terms such as “destiny” but “chemistry” doesn’t exactly describe the team either.
Whatever the Lancers have they pulled it out again and used it in their 3-0 (30-28, 25-19, 28-26) victory in an important section game to keep them perfect at 12-0 in games that count and 2-0 in section play.
Sahuaro (11-1, 1-0) defeated Salpointe in the semifinal round of the Lions Den Invitational last week but the loss is not figured into the power point formula because it occurred during an invitational tournament. Still, the No. 4 Cougars found a way to defeat the top-ranked Lancers. The key is to finish when you have a chance.
Easy to say. Much harder to do.
Salpointe sprinted out to a 5-0 lead in the first set only to have Catalina Foothills battle back to eventually take 16-15 lead and later a 20-18 lead. Salpointe went up 24-22 but a kill from Anita Eichenour followed by another from Sam Stinnett tied the set back up.
Eichenour would eventually give her team a 26-25 margin but the Falcons couldn’t finish. Salpointe failed to end the set four times but the Lancers eventually pulled out a 30-28 win.
“We are a situational team and sometimes that’s not good,” setter Rachel Davis explained. “We play up to the level of our opponent and we seem to play harder with high intensity.”
When asked about closing out chances to win Davis added, “We need the mindset and the confidence in ourselves to finish without worrying about messing the point up.
“We are going to get better at it,” she added. “It’s something you can’t practice. It comes from within.”
Davis and Geena Kading share setting duties and the duo finished with 43 assists with Kading leading her team with 23. Stinnett had 15 kills and Eichenour added 12 but Salpointe also has talent.
Peyton Lewis is in charge of distributing the ball on the best Division II team in the state. That may be a lot to ask of a sophomore but having Carly Lowry (16 kills) and Maggie Schepelmann (12) to pass to makes her job a bit easier.
“We have to really stick together during these tough matches,” Lewis explained. “It’s a difficult task but I’m getting better and we have a lot of great assets on our team.”
Salpointe won the second set 25-19 with little drama but the third set was almost a replay of the first with Catalina Foothills building a 21-17 lead and later a 23-20 lead only to see it slip away again.
Lowry had back-to-back kills and Lewis added an ace to tie the set up at 23-23 but the Falcons took a 24-23 lead moments later. It was another chance to win but the Lancers battled back to a 25-25 tie.
Lowry scored to make it 26-25 but Catalina Foothills tied up only to have Lowry score again. Lewis saw an opening and provided the last score herself for the 28-26 win.
The Falcons had plenty of defense with Margo Courtney collecting 28 digs and Hannah Beskind adding 22 and Kelsey Siemons dominated the middle and didn’t let much through but a winning score was elusive.
Lowry collected 15 digs for Salpointe as did Alanna Duarte.
Catalina Foothills will host the Falcon Invite on Friday and Saturday. The 12 teams scheduled to play are:
Boulder City, Nevada
Yuma Gila Ridge
Faith Lutheran, Nevada
Palo Verde, Nevada
Pool play begins at noon on Friday and bracket play starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com