Shea Garrett
ASU Student Journalist

Marcos de Niza volleyball loses against Buckeye Union in tie-breaking set

October 1, 2021 by Shea Garrett, Arizona State University

Senior captain Jazmyn Vital goes for a dig and scores a point (Shea Garrett/AZPreps365)

Shea Garrett is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Marcos de Niza High School for

TEMPE -- Marcos de Niza’s volleyball team played five sets against Buckeye Union High School on Wednesday. Despite their constant energy, hard spikes, and quick dives Marcos de Niza (MdN) lost 3-2 to the Hawks.

The five sets were not without their challenges for both teams, as the score went back and forth for most of the match. The set results were 25-22, 21-25, 25-15, 24-26,15-11. Each team won every other set starting with Buckeye Union. 

MdN played its seventeenth game, their record being 3-13 prior to this match. With new head coach Kerry Morgan, it has been a learning curve for the players and coaches involved. “It’s up and down,” Morgan stated, “I want to rebuild the culture and put it all in.”

Morgan’s coaching was present through all five sets encouraging her girls on the sideline. 

The Padres battled for their points in the first set. Junior Zoey Arner, who was selected as player of the match against Seton Catholic High School in the previous week, continuously dove for the ball in hopes of saving the point. “I grew up with brothers so I’m a bit of a tom-boy,” said Arner. “I hit the floor constantly. I wear some padding on my arm and try to favor that arm when diving.” 

Although the first set went in favor of the Hawks, the Padres came back to win the second set by increasing communication and ball movement. Within this set, the Padres scored multiple aces including two back-to-back. Jewel Ochoa was a gem, recording five blocks. The Padres captured the second set, 25-21.

Early into the third set, the Hawks took a quick lead of 12-4 using the tactic of strong spikes to the corners of the court. The Padres kept mis-predicting whether the ball was going to land out of bounds, which aided the Hawks in their speedy scoring. The Padres had a sudden boost of energy after talking with their coach during a time-out. Senior captain, Emma Orndorf had more power in her bumps to her teammates. In spite of MdN's efforts, Buckeye took this set 25-15.

The Padres used words of encouragement going into the penultimate set which was clear to the fans. “Stay focused ladies,” stated Orndorf. “We got this.” 

This set kept the fans of both teams on the edge of the yellow and black bleacher seats. Scoring was back and forth until the score hit 10-9, Padres leading. The Padres had a small slip-up due to missing bumps and spikes hitting the net but recovered quickly to win the match's most ferocious set, 26-24.

The final set was quick, both teams contributing little ball movement to earn a point. The Padres missed multiple bumps and blocks and received most of its point from the Hawks serving the ball out of bounds. The missed serves were not enough for the Padres to prevail, permitting the Hawks to win the set 15-11 and the match 3-2.