After blitzing Marcos de Niza in the opening set of its Division II section matchup on Tuesday night, Campo Verde appeared to be in for an easier than expected evening.
The second set changed Campo's mindse. The Lady Coyotes responded by picked up their play the rest of the match to take a 3-1 triumph over host Marcos de Niza in a Division II contest at Marcos de Niza. Scores were 25-15, 22-25, 25-9 and 25-18.
Campo Verde improved to 9-0 overall in power-ranking matches and 3-0 in D-II, Section 1 matches. Campo Verde entered play No. 4 in D-II power-rankings. Marcos de Niza (7-2, 1-1 Section 1) was 13th heading into the match.
Occasional erratic play — Jekyll and Hyde one might say — has shown itself a few times for Campo. But as coach Tricia Melfy noted, her team has been able to work through lapses most of the time.
“It's kind of been that way from time to time,” Melfy said. “We had our moments tonight when we looked great and other moments we were kind of rough. We've been able to make adjustments to overcome some of the rough patches.”
Leading the attack for Campo Verde was middle Misha McDowell. McDowell tallied 15 kills unofficially while middle Audra Beth Dugan and outside hitter Kaylee Boyse had seven kills each. The most potent weapon for Campo Verde was its serve where Haley Christiansen was trouble from the outset. Tuesday's match was the first this season Campo Verde did not sweep a a power-point opponent.
Christiansen served 10 consecutive points in the opening set to help Campo Verde race to an 11-2 lead. The Lady Coyotes led at one time in the set, 20-6. In the 10-0 run, Christiansen served up three aces.
“Haley is the steadiest player you could ask for,” Melfy said. “She does a lot of things well. I think she is a next-level player even if she may not look it.”
Marcos looked like a completely different team in the second set, with better blocking working to frustrate Campo Verde's offense. No more than four points separated the teams in the second set. Marcos pulled away from a 20-20 tie to even the match. Senior outside hitter Jorie Mayfield closed the set with two successive kills of the 14 she posted for the match. Marcos de Niza teammated Marissa Kyman, a sophomore, added 10 kills.
Campo Verde's strength from the opening set resurfaced the rest of the match as it gave Marcos fits with its serves.
“It came down to serve-receive,” Marcos de Niza coach Scott Miller said. “I watched them warmup and knew they were going to be a challenge. We haven't seen many teams that serve like they do. It was a big adjustment. We played the third set like we did the first. Once you give up a couple points in a row off serves, it can get tougher.”
Campo Verde posted six more aces in the third set — three from Boyse and two more by Christiansen. Campo fittingly ended the match with an ace by libero Maya Doyle.