Saints douse Firebirds in five-set volleyball victory

The Chaparral High School volleyball team lost to Notre Dame Prep High School in a conference match at home, Monday, Oct. 24.

This match was also senior night for the Firebirds, who now have a 30–9 overall record, which seemed to pump up the CHS volleyball players to give it their all for this game. However, it was not enough as the Saints (24–13 overall) came away with the five-set contest.

The Firebirds have only lost two games since Sept. 22 and have two more matches left in the season. This is also Chaparrals first match that surpassed three sets since Sept. 22.

Junior outside hitter/setter Sophie Sydenham said Notre Dame Prep had just returned from a tournament in San Diego which gave the team good competition as well as preparing them for this match.

“It was a really great win and a great team effort,” Sydenham said.

In the first set, the Firebirds, who rank 11th in the state according to a MaxPreps.com rankings, looked shaky when Notre Dame was ahead 3–0.

The Saints maintained the lead throughout the first few minutes of the set, but, Chaparral was looking for a fight.

Outside hitter Amber Stivrins whipped out her secret weapon for multiple kills. The Saints were in the lead most of the set but allowed several ties. Despite a furious comeback of an 8–1 run to tie the set at 22, it was NDP that would come away victorious in the first set 25–23.

Chaparral fought back in the second set, beating the Saints 25–22, leveling the match at one a piece. This set featured a power struggle between the two teams in the beginning with Chaparral gaining control as CHS allowed only one tie with middle blocker Adriann Gifford in front blocking any ball coming her way.

The Firebirds also won the third set as the set maintained a slow pace in the beginning and ended with an energy boost from Chaparral to clinch it 25–23 and take a 2–1 match lead.

However, the fourth set went to Notre Dame Prep 25–17 as the Saints were dominated the entire set and appeared determined to force a fifth set.

On the other side, the Firebirds were heading to a fifth set after a month of staying in the lead for each game.

The Saints won the match because of a hand violation on Chaparral, Saints Head Coach Sara Fox said. The Saints were in the lead 14–7 when the incident took place, leaving the Firebirds with the loss.

Coach Fox said the team has been focusing on making less errors and defense since in the beginning of the season they had been “scoring a lot of points for the other team.”

Additionally, middle blocker/outside hitter Lexi Johnson said this win was a team effort.

“We pulled it together and played as a team, and not just as individuals,” Johnson said.

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