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Top seed Rock Point has ‘unfinished business’ to take care of

Top seed Rock Point has ‘unfinished business’ to take care of


The Rock Point volleyball team wants to take it a step further.

After losing to Mogollon in the 1A state semis in 2019, the Lady Cougars have some “unfinished business” to take care of.

“I know that we clinched the 1A North championships but our job is not done yet,” first-year Rock Point coach Kyle Arthur said. “We have unfinished business and heading into the state playoffs we know what needs to be done.”

In that state semifinal game from two years ago, Mogollon swept the Cougars in straight sets as Rock Point played in its first-ever Final Four game.

“The loss in 2019 is fueling us,” said Arthur, who served as the assistant coach on that 21-7 team. “We’re ready to go all the way.”

With a 27-1 record this year, the Cougars were awarded the top seed in the 1A bracket, as they will open the playoffs against No. 16 seed Immaculate Heart on Friday at 9 a.m. at Coronado High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“It was expected and they deserved that No. 1 seed because of how much work they put everyday at practice,” Arthur said. “At one point we actually went to three-hour practices and we trimmed it down to two hours but every time they went in the gym they knew what the end goal was.

“They’ve exceeded our expectations,” he continued, “and they’ve done a lot in the limited amount of time that we worked with them.”

Earning the top seed does have its drawbacks, as the Cougars will most likely see everyone’s best during the two-day state tournament.

“We’ve been aware of that,” the Rock Point coach said, while adding that they’ve seen that late this season against 1A North rivals Red Mesa and St. Michaels with the two teams extending the Cougars to four sets.

“They wanted to beat us and they all came in with very high intensity,” he said. “Right off the bat, they were playing with a lot of aggression. We just played our game and we kept the momentum and we pulled through with those games.”

In addition to Rock Point, the Red Mesa volleyball team got some much needed love from the state seeding committee as they were given the third seed.

St. Michaels, meanwhile, earned the No. 11 seed.

In the opening round, Red Mesa will tangle with No. 14 Lincoln Prep while the Cardinals will take on No. 6 seed Joseph City. Both games will be played at 1 p.m. at Coronado High School.

The state field includes nine-time state champs St. David, winners of the last two state crowns. St. David got the nod as the nine seed this year and they have the potential to meet Rock Point in the quarterfinals.

And while St. David does have tradition, Rock Point has its eye on Mogollon, the fourth seed.

“They took us out back in 2019 but I feel like we’re ready for them,” Arthur said. “Mostly likely we’ll meet up with them in the Final Four again and basically it’s payback.”

Arthur believes he has the personnel to top Mogollon and the rest of the 16-team field.

The Cougars are led by junior Arianne Begay and senior Tamira John as both players have combined for 584 kills.

Begay leads the way with 301 kills while John has added 283 in 81 sets played.

And while the two players have put up gaudy numbers, the Rock Point team has a supporting cast.

“I’ve had other players step up,” Arthur said of Taylyn Woody, Danielle Johnson and Jaylene Begay.

“Most of them come from basketball and most of them played in the 2019 state championship team,” he said. “They basically rolled over into this sport.”

About The Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at


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