Chaparral defeats Higley in straight sets
September 21, 2022 by Kevin Nix, Arizona State University
Kevin Nix is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Higley High School for AZPreps365.com
After a four-set victory over the Paradise Valley Trojans on Monday, Higley fell to the Chaparral Firebirds in three sets on Tuesday.
The final score did not paint the full picture of both teams' efforts.
The Knights lost, 21-25, 19-25, 15-25. The first set was evenly split between the two teams up to a 16-16 score as they traded blows. The Knights were in sync and playing a fast-paced game hoping to throw off their opponents. Higley was playing up to Chaparral’s level as an underdog opponent, which the team took away as a major positive.
“I think, with how competitive we played, our mentality was actually really high this game,” senior Emma Schenk said. “And, we left being proud of ourselves for pushing and keeping that fight going, so I think it was pretty high for that game.”
The second set was similar to the first with Higley matching Chaparral on each point and rally. The Knights continued their aggressive, fast-paced game which kept the Firebirds on their toes and kept the game close. After the two teams were tied 11-11, Chaparral went on a 14-8 run to win the set.
The third set saw Higley score the first point. The Firebirds got eight of the next nine points and the final four points to cruise to victory, 25-15.
While the Knights thrived with a quick, intense style at first, Chaparral equaled Higley’s aggression from the beginning in the third set and ended the match on their terms.
Knights senior Talli Copple led her team with 11 kills.
Chaparral coach Chad Speer took away both positives and negatives from his team’s performance.
“I don’t think we played to our strengths tonight,” Speer said. “I think we got outworked most of the time. I think towards the end we started to catch up to how they were working hard and our talent kinda took over at the end, but I’d say the first game and a half they wanted to win more than us. After that the effort caught up and we got better from the service line and serve-receive, which allowed us to execute offensively out of the middle, which is our strength.”
Higley coach Tyler Kraemer looked beyond the score to highlight positives.
“We knew Chaparral was gonna be one of the top teams coming in,” Kraemer said. “So our goal was even if we don’t get the outcome that we wanted, even if we didn’t win, we were still competing against them. And we did for the first two games. I mean losing by a couple points versus a state champion contender, that tells me that our girls are ready for that next step after we put the pieces together the remainder of the season.
"I would also say that I had fun, this was fun until game three. That was a fun game, a fun match to be a part of. Even though we lost, that game was still fun.”
Higley (4-2) will visit the Notre Dame Prep Saints (6-0) at 6 p.m. Thursday.