The Rim Country Middle School girls volleyball team, which played its last home game this week, will now take its reputation as a dominating division force on the road.
Coming off a big win Monday against Show Low, the eighth-grade girls have demonstrated superior serving, passing, offense and net defense.
"Everywhere we go people are amazed at what these girls are able to do at the eighth-grade level," coach Sue Weems said.
In the first game against Show Low, the Lady Mavs set the pace, catching their opponents off-guard and capturing game one in the three-game match with a final score of 15-5.
The second game was more challenging for the Mavericks, as the players struggled with their passing.
"However, they were very aggressive, which quickly helped the girls regain their confidence," Weems said. But not before Show Low stole the second game 15-6.
The third game was hotly contested, but coach Weems said the girls stepped up to face the challenge.
"Krista LaHaye had some great serves, was very aggressive at the net and played some really outstanding defense," she said. "She saved us several times at the net."
But overall, she said, the whole team really came together to win the match.
"Haylee Huff and Krista did a great job serving, and the two of them scored on a lot of serves," she said. "Kody Kepp is also getting stronger and stronger every time she plays. (She) had some key blocks that really kept our momentum going."
Their play was facilitated by outstanding passing from Tina Jackson, Shelby Bennett and Autumn Herrera. After a tough battle, Payson left the court with a 15-12 win for the game and the match.
"Our team has really come a long way and has learned a whole new offense," Weems said.
The win puts the girls at 2-2 in league play, with their other win against Snowflake in what Weems said was probably the toughest team they'll face this year.
Losses to Winslow and St. Johns were, Weems said, for uniquely different reasons.
"Winslow was the first game of the season and the girls were very nervous, and I couldn't make it to the St. Johns game, which the girls said caused them not to communicate with each other as well as usual."
The seventh-grade girls didn't fare as well, losing to Show Low and St. Johns. The players did display teamwork and good three-hit execution, however, which may turn future games around.
Both teams are now preparing for tough away-games next week against Holbrook.