Liberty snaps 3-game losing streak with win over Pinnacle
October 3, 2023 by Natalie Lopez, Arizona State University
Natalie Lopez is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Liberty High School for AZPreps365.com
The Liberty Lions battled through a nail-biting performance in a four-set match against Pinnacle, defeating the Pioneers, 25-17, 25-22, 19-25, and 28-26 on Monday in North Phoenix.
The final set started with Liberty scoring the first two points and then Pinnacle went on a 4-0 run. The Lions fought back with a strong offense and went on a 7-0 run, forcing Pinnacle coach Edwin Ortiz to call a timeout in the midst of it.
Pinnacle slowly gained momentum offensively, as senior Amanda Tremeroli and junior Blayne Seligmiller combined for 10 kills.
But the Lions were fighting back defensively, with the team having several blocks and tying Pinnacle’s match points twice. Junior Tristen Raymond’s two kills towards the end helped them come out on top, 28-26.
Liberty senior Ellie Trimble was a bright spot, ending the night with 16 kills and 10 digs. But when asked about her performance, Trimble gave all the praise to her teammates.
“All credit to my own blockers and players because they were able to split the block for me, including my setters and give me the opportunity to get those kills,” Trimble said. “ (I was) definitely being smart with what I was given and not trying to press.”
Liberty (8-4) was hungry for a win after losing its last three matches. That determination showed in the first set when they dominated Pinnacle, going on a 6-0 run to close out the set, 25-17.
However, Pinnacle (6-6) was not going away so fast. The Pioneers kept up with the Lions, going neck and neck offensively. The second set was tied 11 times, each team scoring right after one another. But Liberty came out on top, going on a 5-0 run that helped them win the set, 25-22.
Liberty coach Chris Brown gave credit to the Pioneers for battling back, and saw the Lions show improvement from their last match.
“(We worked on) making sure to stay cohesive and do everything together,” Brown said. “Credit to Pinnacle for taking us to four (sets) and almost battling back but we stayed with it and each point was a different story. Very, very proud.”
The Pioneers fought back in the third set, keeping up with the Lions and going on a 9-0 run. Freshman Addison Nicks and Tremeroli combined for six kills and three blocks to help Pinnacle take the set, 25-19, and force a fourth set.
As his first year as Pinnacle’s coach, Ortiz had high praise for his team and mentioned the improvements he saw in this match as opposed to last match.
“We definitely improved on the block on the outside, that’s something we were focusing on today,” Ortiz said. “I’m really proud of the girls on how they executed. They locked down defensively and made it tough on a very good team.”
Liberty will travel to Glendale to play the Mountain Ridge Mountain Lions (6-6) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Pinnacle will host the Sunnyslope Vikings (10-1) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.