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Jackrabbits sweep Aztecs
BARSTOW • For the first time this season, the Barstow volleyball team was shut out on Thursday. Victor Valley came to town and beat the Lady Aztecs in straight sets, 3-0.
It was a step back for a Barstow team that came into the match with two wins and played well against Burroughs in its first loss on Tuesday. The Aztecs never mounted much of an offensive to the Jackrabbits, who were in the lead for virtually the entire match.
“We weren’t working as a team tonight,” said head coach Brooke Verrill. “There was no talking, no backing up, we weren’t aggressive. Our error numbers were high; we beat ourselves.”
There were a few stretches where the Lady Aztecs would pick up a few points, but after two or three, the Jackrabbits would regain the serve and take back control. Victor jumped out to a quick, 7-2, lead in game one before coach Verrill called a time-out. Those breaks usually help the team get more focused and in sync, but it didn’t last for long on Thursday. Harley Carter had a couple of kills as did Maxine Cooks, but the Jackrabbits prevailed, 25-12.
Game two played to an almost identical score, 25-13. The home team got one more point than in the first game, even though Victor got off to an even faster start, ahead 13-5 before a Barstow time-out.
The third game was the night’s most competitive. The Lady Aztecs held the early lead behind two aces served up by Kamrien Proctor. Cooks also had an ace, as did Tiare Alefaio and Heather Verrill, but some out-of-bounds hits caused Barstow to fall behind again. Victor’s Meme Camara came up with a couple of nice kills and Lysette Belcher served up a couple of aces as the Jackrabbits won the game, 25-15, and took the match.
It’s been a strange season for the Jackrabbits, who lost two head coaches before the season started. The freshman and JV coaches, Alexis Nall and Krystal Harsey, are filling in as co-varsity coaches.
“The team went all through the summer with their original coach, so it’s been hard for them,” said Harsey. “The girls have a lot of catching up to do, but they’ve been working hard. They’re determined to prove everyone wrong, and win.”
Belcher totaled eight digs and seven kills on Thursday, while Kylee Chavez had 21 assists and six kills. Ellery Steenerson came up with 10 digs.
For Barstow, Heather Verrill had seven digs, Cooks had four kills, and Chelsea Phillips eight digs. Those are lower numbers than the team’s norm, which to coach Verrill means it’s back to practice.
“We had 10 serving errors, 15 hitting errors and 15 blocking errors. That says it all. We beat ourselves,” she said. “I can give the girls the fundamentals and the drills, but I can’t give them that drive. I’m always proud to be their coach, I believe in them, but they’re better than this.
“It’s still early in the season. There’s lots of time left for us to come together as a team. That’s what we have to do.”
The Lady Aztecs will be home again for their next match, hosting Adelanto on Tuesday for a 5:30 varsity start.