Rachel Masson
ASU Student Journalist

Tolleson Union snaps losing streak, beats Camelback in 4 sets

September 21, 2023 by Rachel Masson, Arizona State University

Senior Madison Amarillos goes up to spike the ball as Camelback lost to Tolleson Union in four sets on Wednesday. (Rachel Masson photo/AZPreps365)

Rachel Masson is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Camelback High School for AZPreps365.com

Tolleson Union won in four sets against Camelback on Wednesday night, snapping a two-game losing streaking.

After winning their first match of the season on Tuesday against Alhambra, the Camelback girls volleyball team was unable to carry the momentum into Wednesday’s match, falling to Tolleson Union, 25-17, 17-25, 25-21, 25-16.

The Wolverines started off strong in the first set, going on a 4-0 run resulting in a timeout by the Spartans. Coming out of the timeout, the Spartans were able to exchange a few points with the Wolverines, but the Wolverines went on a 6-0 run, taking a 13-3 lead.

Camelback also had communication issues as the Spartans had two dropped balls in the first set.

“[Communication is] always something we’re striving to be better at, no matter what,” Camelback coach Calinanne Johnson said. “I think it’s hard for [the girls] to understand that it’s OK to talk to your teammate while we’re in play.”

The Wolverines had five aces in the first set along with four kills, two from junior outside hitter Leah Millage. The Wolverines ended the first set on a 4-0 run, winning 25-17.

The Spartans started the second set well, going on a 6-0 run, also resulting in a Wolverine timeout. The Wolverines and Spartans again exchanged a few points, but the Spartans kept their lead the whole set.

Both senior outsiders Madison Amarillos and Leah Luevanos recorded three kills in the second set. Senior setter Adryelle Wilfert had three digs as she helped cover the court on the defensive end.

“I have an instinct to go for the ball,” Wilfert said. “[My thought process] when I go for the ball, is to just get it up. If it’s the third hit, then it’s to just get it over.”

The Spartans were able to close out the second set 25-17 after a kill from senior Paris Anderson.

The third set began much like the first with the Wolverines going on a 4-0 run with Millage now in the back row. The Spartans got on the board with two kills from Amarillos, but the Wolverines went on a 3-0 run, causing Johnson to call a timeout.

The Spartans were able to pick up the pace with a couple of kills from Luevanos as well as going on two 3-0 runs. A kill from Amarillos tied the score 16-16 as the Spartans were gaining energy.

The Spartans took the lead after a double-hitting error from the Wolverines.

However, Millage recorded two kills that gave her team the energy they needed to close out the set. The Wolverines finished on a 2-0 run to finish the third set 25-21.

“[Millage] is a strong back-row attacker,” Tolleson Union coach Hannah Milliken said. “In the third set, we needed someone in the back row to be an attacker, and she closed the deal on that one.”

The fourth set started off as another back-and-forth set.

The Spartans took the lead after a hitting error from the Wolverines, going on a 3-1 run. However, the Wolverines did not back down as they tied the set 11-11 after a kill from Millage.

The teams went back and forth as both had a few unforced errors, accidentally stepping under the net.

The Spartans kept miscommunicating on the defensive end, and had two more dropped balls.

The Wolverines had a serving error, giving the Spartans control of the ball as they were down 16-22. However, the Wolverines were still dominant, ending the set on a 3-0 run, winning 25-16.

Millage ended the night with six kills and three aces.

“Communication is what really helped us win, especially in the fourth set,” Millage said. “We had a lot of communication going on and there was a lot of energy.”

Camelback (1-6) will play at Trevor G. Browne at 6 p.m. Thursday. Tolleson Union (2-2, 3-3) will play at Valley Vista at 6 p.m. Thursday.