Alyssa Gomez
ASU Student Journalist

Saint Mary's dominates Tempe High with a sweep

October 19, 2021 by Alyssa Gomez, Arizona State University

Junior middle blocker Zoe Rideau jumps to block a ball from Tempe High (Alyssa Gomez/AZpreps365)

Alyssa Gomez is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Saint Mary's Catholic High School for 

PHOENIX-- After going 2-3 in their last five games, Saint Mary's High School swept Tempe High School in three sets on Tuesday night at home: 25-8, 25-13, 25-15 

It was the second match of the year for the 4A Skyline opponents as they met on Saint Mary's Family Night. Tempe was looking to avoid its 19th consecutive loss of the season, while the Knights sought to rejuvenate themselves after losing crucial games against the Thunderbird Titans, the Greenway Demons, and the Seton Catholic Sentinels. 

"We need to reset mentally," said Knights coach September Lopez. "We had a bad week so yesterday we did drills that were fun, fast-paced, and upbeat to get the girls loose." 

The effort put in by the team immediately shined in the first set as the Knights dominated 25-7. The set started with an eight-point run by Saint Mary's that Tempe could not recover from. Senior outside hitter Ella Fahrendorf significantly impacted this set with five kills. 

Senior outside hitter Ella Fahrendorf goes for a kill in the first set (Alyssa Gomez/AZpreps365)"Our energy was back together," said Fahrendorf. "We were really playing as a team and I think that helps me do better." 

The following game was a battle for the two teams. Junior setter Jessica Rayner would have five aces, but Tempe would capitalize off six errors made by Saint Mary's in the last 18 rallies. However, the Knights fought back and won the set 25-13 by switching up their leadership and at one point having only two starters on the court. 

"It was more so giving players who are going to be key players next season or players who come off the bench more of an opportunity," said Lopez. "Just encouraging them to keep the leadership going."

The Knights would take control once again in the third set by going on a nine-point run before a time-out was called. Tempe refused to give up on possibly achieving their first win of the season by answering back with a three-point run. However, drills such as "Bingo Bango Bongo" would help Saint Mary's as they had two consecutive three-point runs to end the game. 

"Bingo, Bango, Bongo" is a game that helps the players learn how to gain little points to score big points. When coach Lopez tells them "Bingo, Bango, Bongo" it gets them into the mindset of scoring four points in a row. 

"Those are difficult drills," said Fahrendorf. "They do help us to mentally reset and actually play hard." 

Saint Mary's will hope to take this win into their playoff push and crawl out of the 16th seed. 

"It wasn't about upsetting a ranked team, just letting everything click," said coach Lopez. "Since we're starting off with this game we should roll ahead." 

It will be a battle of the Knights for Saint Mary's next game as they take on the Arizona College Prep Knights Wednesday, October 20, 2021.