Only the most foolish would claim they completely understand how the AIA power point system operates in ranking prep teams for post-season play.
Simply put, the system often confuses players, coaches, boosters and school administrators.
For example, last week after beating Show Low 3-0, the Lady Horns achieved their highest ranking ever — fifth place among 3A teams. But just days later after whipping Alchesay 3-0, Payson fell to No. 8.
In the Lady Horns’ (6-1 overall, 4-0 in the East) win over Alchesay, which was recorded Sept. 16 in Wilson Dome, the Falcons were no problem, falling 25-6, 25-8 and 25-14.
The win over Show Low, on Sept. 14 in the dome, was also a clean sweep, with Payson winning 25-20, 25-12 and 25-15.
The Longhorns knew deep down the struggling Falcons wouldn’t provide much of a dogfight. So Stonebrink reached deep into his bag of motivation.
In winning, Megan Wessel set the tone, establishing a Lady Horn record for serving efficiency at .69.
Stonebrink explained the mark as “meaning on a scale from 0 to 3, the Falcon passers averaged .69 when trying to pass Megan’s serve.”
Wessel also led the team in aces with six.
Her twin sister Kaitlyn led the Lady Horns in service winners and also had four aces.
In digging up Falcon hitting, Rachel DiFelice was steady, recording six digs.
Trinity England finished with seven kills, Katelyn Curtis had five and Cami Barnett and Kelsey Waugh had four each.
Among the younger players vs. Alchesay, the freshmen won in straight sets and are now 5-0 for the season.
The jayvee team is 7-0.
“Neither has dropped even a single set,” said Stonebrink.
Against Show Low
Megan Wessel was again the go-to player in the win over Show Low, even though she was playing a different position than she usually does.
“We had a couple of middle hitters out, so switched her over to start there in the first set,” Stonebrink said. “She has played middle hitter in the past, but this year for varsity she’s been a back row specialist and a backup right side hitter.”
Megan responded to the challenge of playing the new position in the opening set so well that the coach left her there in the second and third sets as well.
“She was steady and dominant, she had a superb match,” Stonebrink said.
In 13 spikes, she had nine kills and no errors.
Curtis also turned in an excellent game hitting with seven kills in 11 attempts and no errors.
England was a model of efficiency with 28 spikes, 10 kills and two errors.
Rachel Creighton finished with 32 assists.
In the back row, DiFelice and England were at the top of their game. DeFelice led the team in serve receiving and was second in digs with seven. England led the team in digs with 15, a mark Stonebrink calls “amazing,” partly because she didn’t play in the back row on the final set.
The Lady Horns return to East action today, Sept. 21 against Round Valley in Eagar.
The team then has a rematch Sept. 23 in Whiteriver against Alchesay.