Michael Zarich
ASU Student Journalist

Perry defeats Hamilton in 6A Premier rivalry battle

October 18, 2023 by Michael Zarich, Arizona State University

Perry huddles in timeout against Hamilton (Photo by Michael Zarich/AZPreps365)

Michael Zarich is a student journalist at Arizona State University assigned to cover Perry High School for AZPreps365.com

Perry won at home against Hamilton in four sets (25-22, 20-25, 25-18, 25-22) on Wednesday.

Both schools two of the 6A conference's best teams at sixth and seventh in this week's state rankings. Hamilton is first in the competitive 6A Premier region at 5-1, and 11-4 overall. Perry's second at 4-1 in regional play, and 10-4 overall. 

"Our defense kept improving over the course of the game and we had some clutch blocks and really good digs," said Perry head coach Fred Mann.

Junior outside hitters Avery Stones and McKaley Herr led the team with 17 and nine kills each, and junior middle blocker Kenna Cogill led the team with six blocks. Junior libero Lily LaFlesch also led the Pumas with 27 digs. 

"We all came together as a team and even when there was a misplay, we shook it off right away, focused on the next play, and came back stronger," said LaFlesch. 

The energy and encouragement from the girls whether they were on the bench or on the court was unmatched.

"There’s a bunch of girls who really feed off of each other," Mann added. "Lily, our libero, she really brings out the energy."'

It was an ultimate team win for the Pumas as they kept battling back each set and matched everything Hamilton through at them through their impeccable will to win and "next play mentality."

In the fourth and final set, Hamilton had the lead until Perry stormed back and scored the final five points to win the set and match.

"I was proud of our girls for battling out there," said Mann.

The Pumas have three matches left before the playoffs, looking to extend their win streak to three after hosting No. 3 Xavier Prep on Thursday at 6 p.m.