Don Ketchum
Former Staff Writer,

Body, mind work together for NW Christian volleyball

October 16, 2012 by Don Ketchum, AZPreps365

By Don Ketchum

The mind and the body aren’t always in sync. It takes some time for one or the other to catch up.

It happened to the girls’ volleyball team from Phoenix Northwest Christian on Tuesday night (Oct. 16).

The Crusaders disposed of visiting Thatcher 25-21 in the first set of their match, but Thatcher battled back to capture the second set 25-18. The third set was a battle of wills, going back and forth before Northwest Christian held on for a 25-23 win. In the fourth, Northwest Christian scored the first five points and maintained its advantage the rest of the way, recording a 25-19 triumph and taking the match 3-1.

Thatcher, the top seed in Division IV entering this week’s play, fell to 15-6. Northwest Christian, the two-time defending state champion and No. 4 seed this week, raised its record to 20-6.

“The body knows what to do, but the mind doesn’t always cooperate,’’ said Northwest Christian coach Jackie Switzer. “We finally were able to get them together in that third game and it carried us. When we do that, we feel we can beat any team on any day.

“We have a word that defines us. It’s “plow.’’ You know, you “plow through,’’ no matter what happens. It works for us.’’

Alexis Patterson, Northwest Christian’s talented 6-foot junior, was dominant at the net with her powerful left-handed kills and blocks, but she also shows a nice soft touch in setting up her teammates. It was easy to see why colleges already are starting to line up at her door.

“Alexis is a very smart player. She only started playing volleyball in the eighth grade but she continues to pick things up.

“But she isn’t the only player we have. We have a very well-rounded team. We have a lot of smart girls.’’

Coached by Becky Motes, Thatcher figures to be a major force come state tournament time. The Eagles’ top players include 5-11 senior Shiann White and 5-9 junior Brooklyn Scarborough.