SHIPROCKHaving a strong mental game has almost always been Shiprock High School volleyball team’s weakness.
But on Tuesday night, when Navajo Preparatory School showed up for a 4A District 1 match, it was their strength. Shiprock defeated the Lady Eagles 3-2 in sets 21-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-18, 15-10, handing Navajo Prep their first district loss of the season. The two teams are now tied 3-1 and lead the district.
Shiprock head coach Teri Atcitty said what has been their arch nemesis this season finally pulled through for the win.
“Mainly the mentality and keeping that positive mentality,” Atcitty said. “And working together as a team, that’s what did it for them.”
The two teams met just weeks ago and Navajo Prep walked away then with the win 3-1, and at the start of the rematch, it looked as if things were going to end in the same fashion.
Navajo Prep took a quick and early lead, but Shiprock did not let them stray too far ahead. Navajo Prep managed to say one step ahead throughout the first game until Shiprock tied things up at 21-21. Navajo Prep executed on Shiprock’s mistakes and closed in for the win in game one; 25-21.
Navajo Prep continued to execute in full force in game two, they took a quick 8-1 lead before Shiprock called a timeout. Navajo Prep extended their lead to 19-10, but Shiprock found an opportunity for a 5-0 run and trailed 23-20. But Navajo Prep closed in on the 25-20 win for game two.
Navajo Prep head coach Rainy Crisp said her team came out strong in the first two games, as expected, but things started to take a turn in game three.
“We do good, we’ve been doing good the first two games, then we dropped a game and we would be able to pick it right back up, but this is a totally different environment for our girls,” Crisp said. “It’s harder to come in The Pit and try to mentally come back up, and so again being at this point right now we definitely got better, we just need to keep improving.”