Gilbert High didn't open its match Tuesday night with much polish and paid the price as visiting Mountain Pointe controlled the first set and left the Tigers a little anxious on how the evening would play out.
Gilbert regrouped quickly by the second set and it was all Lady Tigers from there as Gilbert defeated Mountain Pointe, 20-25, 25-15, 25-15, 25-15 in a Division I Section 2 girls volleyball match at The Jungle.
Gilbert, which began the day No. 6 in the D-I power-rankings, improved to 28-7 overall and 10-3 in power-ranking matches. Mountain Pointe, No. 8 as play commenced, fell to 14-11 overall and 8-3 in prm. Gilbert had its attack working from several sources with middle Angela Webb collectiing 10 kills and McKenna Martin and Kaitlyn Lines adding nine kills apiece.
Perhaps more than the balance of putaways was Gilbert's ability at the service line. The Lady Tigers notched 15 aces — 13 in the the three sets they won. The first set saw Gilbert commit four service errors. Lines had six of the aces using a powerful jump serve. Six players had at least one ace for Gilbert.
“One of our goals is to be a good serving team,” Gilbert coach Joe Hesse said. “When we serve tough we can play with the best teams. We're not physical enough at the net so we need to serve well and get the big teams out of system.”
Gilbert was helped by the return to its lineup of Martin, who has played sparingly since the Westwood Tournament of Champions three weeks ago. Martin, who added 20 digs and two aces, had a week without matches to heal from a quad injury with fall break taking place last week.
“We've had to move her around and play her on the outside,” Hesse said. “It's not her best position, but we need her there.”
Gilbert was solid most of the final three sets with strong play in the back from liberos Kameryn Hill and Kaylee Panepinto.
Mountain Pointe's attack revolved around senior outside hitter Christine Winkelman. Winkelman finished with 10 kills. She combined with Whitney Doss and Kaylah Lupoe to lead the Lady Pride to the opening-set triumph. Junior middle Kendall Gray added six kills for Mountain Pointe.
Gilbert is now 4-1 in section play and Mountain Poiinte is 3-2. They reside in the toughest D-I section top to bottom with Hamilton, Desert Vista, Basha, Perry and Corona del Sol also in Section 2. Gilbert visits Desert Vista in its next match and Mountain Pointe plays host to Hamilton, the No. 1 team in the current D-I power-rankings. both matches are Wednesday (Oct. 16) at 6 p.m.