Back-to-back: Rock Point outlasts top-seed Williams for 1A state crown
The Rock Point volleyball team successfully defended its 1A state volleyball crown.
The second-seeded Lady Cougars were pushed to a fifth set for the second year in a row as they outlasted top-seed Williams on Saturday in a marathon match at Coronado High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The set scores were 25-16, 25-27, 22-25, 25-15, and 15-11.
“Winning a state championship is not easy,” second-year Rock Point coach Kyle Arthur said. “There was a lot of emotions, a lot of battling and fighting, and I’m just glad that we pulled through.”
“I’m just so happy and relieved,” said Rock Point middle hitter Arianne Begay, who dominated the net.
The 6-1 hitter had a match-high 37 kills and five aces.
“She’s worked very hard for this moment,” Arthur said. “She needed her teammates to do that, and every time the ball went up, she knew what had to be done.
“She had a big role this year, and she played up to it,” he added. “I mean, she wanted this, and I think we saw that.”
Rock Point setter June Yazzie said they used the crowds’ energy to extend the match to a fifth set as the Lady Cougars trailed 2-1.
“We had to work through our errors and mistakes, and the crowd carried us,” she said. “We just picked up the momentum.”
Rock Point had the early momentum in the final set, opening up a 4-0 advantage, but Williams made it pretty interesting by tying the game at 5-all.
The match was tied six times before Rock Point rode out the momentum, ending the rollercoaster title game with a 5-1 run.
“It was a good match, and I’m glad we regained the momentum at the end,” Arthur said. “Volleyball is a sport of momentum, and once it shifts, it will shift like crazy.”
For a more in-depth story, pick up a copy of Thursday’s Navajo Times.