Varsity Net Squad Bounces Back

­Mustangs saddled with three-set loss, Horns round up welcome win


Payson’s volleyball team needed a victory against Mogollon on Tuesday night.

A 3-1 loss to Fountain Hills in Payson Sept. 19 left the Lady Longhorns 3-2. They didn’t want to fall to .500.

They didn’t.

Payson bounced back from the Fountain Hills setback to beat the visiting Mustangs 25-15, 25-18, 25-10.

PHS stood at No. 14 in the initial Division III power rankings and remained there following Tuesday’s match against Mogollon, a Division V team.

Longhorns coach Arnold Stonebrink knows how important victories are in the age of the power rankings, so he’s hoping the Horns can win at Show Low at 1 p.m. Saturday.


Payson’s Emmee Ashby delivers a kill against Fountain Hills on Sept. 19.

“Hopefully we can take care of Show Low to go 5-2,” he said. “Needless to say, a lot of us are power point watchers.”

PHS had little trouble with the Mustangs.

Kaylee Byers got the fireworks going with three straight aces and the Horns jumped out to a 16-3 lead and coasted to victory in the first set.

The second set was more dramatic. A four-point serving run by Mckenzie Creighton helped PHS take a 15-10 lead. But the Mustangs countered with their own run to tie it at 15 before the home team closed the set with a 10-3 run.

Byers’ strong serving led a strong team performance in the final game, which was a one-sided affair. “The whole team played well,” Stonebrink said of the final set.

Byers “mixed up devastating floaters with well-timed short serves to shock the Mustangs with 10 aces in only 19 attempts and only one error,” the coach said. She had 15 service winners. Creighton had five aces.

Creighton, Harley Turney and Byers led the team in serve-receiving. Byers and Creighton shared dig honors with five apiece. Cori Barnett led all hitters with a .571 hitting efficiency (7-5-1). Tessa Hintze pounded her way to a .400 efficiency (5-2-0), Selena Shill hit a cool .333 (12-5-1), Emmee Ashby hit .286 (7-3-1) and Taylor Randall led the team with seven kills and hit .267 (15-7-3). The team as a whole hit a “terrific” .286.

The junior varsity and freshman teams also swept, pushing their records to 5-1.


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