Lady Mavs Prep For Volleyball Tourney

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The focus of attention on the Rim Country Middle School campus is upcoming White Mountain League volleyball action.

Topping the seventh-grade agenda is the six-team Maverick Invitational Tournament to be played Dec. 3 in RCMS gym.

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The Rim Country Middle School seventh-grade volleyball team will host an invitational tournament Dec. 3 in the RCMS gymnasium. Among those participating will be Lady Mav Taylor Youngcourt, shown in action in a Nov. 29 game against Show Low.

The eighth-graders have their sights set on the WML championships slated to begin Dec. 8. First round action will be at the site of the highest seed, based on the results of regular season games. The tournament continues Dec. 10 in Snowflake with semifinal and the championship games.

While the final seedings for the eighth grade tournament have not been compiled, RCMS athletic director Yvette Harpe anticipates the Mavericks will probably finish somewhere between ninth and 11th place in the standings.

"My guess, is we'll be on the road," she said.

In the first round, 11th place travels to sixth, 10th visits seventh and ninth travels to eighth place.

The younger set

The seventh grade Lady Mavericks, coached by Shelli Creighton, enter the upcoming tournament buoyed by a wins over Snowflake and Mogollon.

"My girls are getting stronger and more confident. I am very proud of them," Creighton said. "They are very determined."

In the win over Snowflake, the Mavs lost the first game 25-17, but rebounded to win 25-21 and 15-13.

"Snowflake was a tough game, but we beat them," Creighton said.

Against Mogollon, RCMS rolled to easy 25-9 and 25-21 victories.

"They were not much competition for us," Creighton said.

In early season games against Round Valley and St. Johns, the Lady Mavs faced what could be two of the favorites to win the White Mountain League championship.

Both teams emerged victorious against RCMS.

For the seventh graders to be successful against the likes of RV and the Lady Redskins, the coach predicts, "We need to get our serves over and the girls need more drive to win."

Eighth grade boasts tournament moxie

The eighth-graders enter the WML championships with the experience of having competed at the onset of the season in the Heber Mogollon Invitational tournament.

In it, the Lady Mavs whipped Mogollon (25-21 and 25-15), lost to Joseph City (25-11 and 25-10), beat Show Low (25-18 and 25-21), then wrapped up play with a loss to Winslow (25-13 and 25-15).

Following the fray, coach Julie Eckhardt cited a trio of players for exceptional play.

"Emily Hill really played well, she moved her feet and had great passes," she said. "Ciara Romance and Kyl Sanders did a really great job of serving."

Among the most powerful teams the Mavericks must contend with in the WML season ending showdown are Snowflake and Round Valley. Both own regular season victories over the Lady Mavs. Snowflake swept RCMS 25-19 and 25-16. Round Valley corralled the Mavericks 25-9 and 25-16.

Against Snowflake, Eckhardt cited Reghan Flake and J'Nae Harris for stellar efforts.

"Reghan did a great job of moving her feet and J'Nae had a couple of great hits from the middle," she said.

In the loss to Round Valley, Romance led the Mav charge, chalking up five consecutive service winners.

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