While the two Payson summer volleyball teams that participated in the Tuba City Invitational didn’t do well in the W’s and L’s column, the tournament did provide the young players the opportunity to get all-important playing time.
“We had no seniors or juniors play,” said coach Arnold Stonebrink. “Our No. 1 team was all sophomores and a couple of freshmen and our No. 2 team was all freshmen.”
The two Payson entries, rather than being varsity squads, “were really B and C teams,” said Stonebrink.
Cydney Figueroa coached the B team in Tuba City and Hannah Armenta coached the C team. Both are former Lady Longhorn standouts who are in their first year of coaching at PHS.
In the tournament, the C team finished 0-4, but picked up a win over Tuba City C in bracket play.
“They finished tied for seventh,” said Stonebrink.
The B team was 1-3 overall, but was close to compiling a 3-1 record.
“They lost one game by two (points) and another by one (point),” said Stonebrink.
In bracket play, Payson B defeated Payson C, but later was soundly thumped by eventual tournament champion Monument Valley A.
Next up, Payson B defeated Tuba City C before dropping a nail-biter to Tuba City B.
“Down match point, 23-20, we got side out and Kelsee Stonebrink served three straight winners to tie it up,” coach Stonebrink said. “We later had two match points, but fell 30-28.”
The B squad also finished seventh.
The team was fueled throughout the tournament by the hitting of sophomore middle hitter Tessa Hintze who hit .261. Sophomore outside hitter Taryn North turned in a .211 mark.
Kelsee Stonebrink led the team in assists, serving and serve receiving.