Another of the annual Payson High Alumni volleyball tournaments and benefit dinners has come and gone with a double dose of healthy success.
The festivities heated up in Wilson Dome July 31 and drew five teams including the varsity squad that will represent Payson High during the 2010 prep campaign.
A highlight of the tournament was the appearance of seven seniors from the highly successful 2009 team that was led by Jenna Robertson, Cydney Figueroa, Kristin Remonda and Laughlin Potvin.
Robertson, who now plays at Phoenix College, was outstanding in her return to PHS.
“She was tremendous — her hitting and blocking were overwhelming and her passing was rock solid,” said coach Arnold Stonebrink. “Cydney seemed to be as sharp as she did when she was a Longhorn.”
The coach also cited Remonda and Potvin for their passing, which he called “dead on.”
While the 2009 squad was formidable, it lost a hard-fought 26-24 overtime decision to the 2010 varsity in tournament pool play.
Refusing to be denied, the 2009 crew came roaring back to win the championship game by scores of 25-21, 18-25 and 15-11.
“The last one was a bit bittersweet for us,” said Stonebrink. “We led 10-7, but gave up seven straight points, six of them service winners by Bailey Randall.”
While the varsity was upset in the gold medal finale after going 4-0 in pool play, Stonebrink was elated with the team’s play, especially the performances of Trinity England, Katelyn Curtis, Kaitlyn Wessel, Cami Barnett and Kelsey Waugh.
Wessel he said, “set well and also passed extremely well, as did her sister Megan and Katelyn Curtis.”
Barnett, playing outside hitter, drew praise for her rapid recovery from a knee injury that slowed her last season.
“She showed no signs of that,” Stonebrink said. “She had a great vertical (leap), hit hard and accurately and displayed great intelligence in mixing up her shots and velocity and masking what she was doing to the defense.
“In 52 spikes, she had 20 kills and only three errors.”
Stonebrink predicts if Barnett continues to improve, “teams will have a tough time defending her this year.”
Playing in the tournament along with the current varsity and the 2009 team, was the 2008 Lady Longhorns, a 1994 team and an A team which Stonebrink calls “a hodgepodge team of a lot of years.”
Tryouts for roster slots on this year’s team began at 3:30 p.m. yesterday, Aug. 2, and will wrap up today.
The Lady Horns will scrimmage Aug. 19 in the dome against Florence.