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Benson surges late to beat Tombstone in 4 sets

TOMBSTONE — It was a tit-for-tac battle between the Benson and Tombstone volleyball teams Wednesday night at Walter J Meyer School until the Bobcats were able to pull away in the fourth set for the win.

Benson left Tombstone with a 3-1 victory for its fifth win of the season while handing Tombstone its third loss.

The Yellow Jackets scored the first points of the match but a serving error gave the Bobcats their first point of the set. Both teams exchanged points until Tombstone was able to pull ahead by three points after an ace made the score 7-4. Tombstone pushed the lead to five before Benson began to respond. Back-to-back Benson aces put them behind by two, 10-8.

The Yellow Jackets were able to keep Benson at a distance until the visitors knotted the game 16-16. The team once again exchanged points until Benson strung together two consecutive points to make the score 22-20 and forced Tombstone head coach Dan Romero call a timeout. Benson scored the first two points out of the break but quickly saw their lead cut to two points, 24-22, which caused them to take a time out. A serving error by Tombstone out of the break gave the first set to Benson 25-22.

The second set began much like the first as both teams exchanged points until Tombstone’s offense found some rhythm and took a 9-6 lead which quickly escalated to 13-7, prompting another Benson timeout. Benson’s first point after the break came on a serving error by Tombstone which made the score 14-8. Two consecutive aces by Emily Darwin cut the Bobcats deficit to four.

Unlike the first set Tombstone was able to hold off Benson and took the game 25-18 on an ace by Mariah Hooper.

Tombstone carried the momentum into the early stages of the third game as the team stormed ahead to a 4-1 lead that soon turned to a 6-3 advantage.

Benson used power to push past Tombstone 18-7 to cause Romero to call a timeout. His team tied the game 18-18 out of the break on a Benson serving error, however strong serving surged Benson to a 22-18 lead. The Bobcats closed out the third set 25-21 on a serving error by the Yellow Jackets.

Momentum completely swung in favor of Benson in the four game. Tatum Benson served 11 consecutive points for the Bobcats as they took an 11-0 lead. Kieristan Schilling got Tombstone on the board with multiple strong shots to help gain some momentum for her team. Tombstone was unable to generate enough offense and dig the powerful kills from Darwin and the front row. Benson sealed the win with a 25-12 victory.

Romero said in a text after the game that his squad was shorthanded as multiple player were out due to injury and illness. He praised Kaitlynn Sowell and Rachel Bonill for their play as they stepped in to fill the voids.

Jasmine Ortega led Tombstone with seven assists. Moxie Mosman led the team with three kills while Schilling and Ilissa Willey had two blocks a piece.

Tombstone looks to rebound against Pima on Thursday at Walter J Meyer.

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