West Valley Preps
Glendale Prep volleyball and its loud home crowd were ready for the seemingly inevitable fifth set.
But Goodyear Trivium Prep would not go willingly. Trailing 24-18, the visiting Crimson Knights reeled off seven straight points to set up a match point.
Two Griffins points reversed control, but the visitors fended off two more set points, and used two kills by senior Maddy Schleifer to seal the set and the match. Trivium Prep (25-9, 12-3 regular season) won 18-25, 25-15, 25-20, 30-28 at Glendale Prep (19-8, 13-2)
“(Schleifer) has been starting four years and has grown every year. She has so much control over where she wants that ball to go,” Trivium Prep coach Beth Wilson said.
The Crimson Knights may have shaken up the 2A volleyball rankings in the final week of the regular season. They entered ranked No. 7 while Glendale Prep was at No. 3.
At first the rankings held up. The Griffins rolled to an 11-1 lead and won the first set by a comfortable margin, as senior Jessica Vargas hit six kills and two aces.
Sophomore Nerin Valasakos added five kills and supplemented Vargas in the attack, as did sophomore right side Nicole Kao.
“Nicole Kao on the right side did really well,” Glendale Prep coach Jen Roberge said.
Late in the first set, though, the visitors figured out a few things. Trivium Prep carried that momentum into the second set, taking control thanks to a kill, a block and two aces by junior Sara Frankowski.
Frankowski was the fulcrum of the Crimson Knight’s block, which took over the match.
“We talked about how many points we gave away,” Wilson said. “I think we played great defensively.”
Four Frankowski kills starting in the middle of the third set tipped that one to Trivium.
Vargas led the way in the fourth set, with five kills helping build the 24-18. However, Schleifer’s two kills led the rally – before two more of her kills closed the match.
“I hope they take that losing sucks (out of the loss). I look forward to showing them the film and that they realize what I’m talking to them about improving,” Roberge said.