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Tombstone triumphs in bout with Patagonia

TOMBSTONE — The Tombstone High School girls volleyball team tasted victory for the first time on their temporary home court at Walter J. Meyer School Wednesday night. Tombstone defeated the visiting Patagonia Lobos in straight sets.

Tombstone is 2-0 on the new season as they defeated San Manuel on Tuesday.

The Yellow Jackets were off to a hot start and carried their momentum in each of the three games, but had their lapses which allowed Patagonia to sneak closer to Tombstone.

Tombstone jumped to an early 3-0 lead in the first set when a big block at the net by Ilissa Willey extended the lead by another point. Tombstone’s offense continued to roll as they found themselves ahead by seven, 12-5, after a long rally with hustle and strong defense on both sides of the net.

Patagonia cut Tombstone’s lead to three midway through the first game to make the score 14-11. However, Mariah Hopper carried Tombstone from the service line with seven consecutive points. The Yellow Jackets took the first set 25-12.

“We played much better tonight than last night,” Tombstone coach Dan Romero said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

The second set was much closer to start than the one before it. Tombstone held a two-point advantage early on until the Lobos were able to push ahead 12-3. The run and shift of pace was made in large part to the serving of Moxie Mosman as she strung together a series of six serves.

“Moxie hit the ball well tonight,” Romero said. “Last night she couldn’t find the court. She is one of the smartest IQ volleyball wise on the floor.”

Patagonia was able to gather some points off of errors by the Yellow Jackets but it wasn’t enough as the home team took the second set.

Like in the previous two games, Tombstone won the first point of the third set as Patagonia’s serve went into the net. Tombstone battled their way to a 5-2 lead, and two Tombstone points later Patagonia called a timeout. Dom Escarsega had a rally of four serves to give the Yellow Jackets a 9-3 lead. Tombstone held Patagonia to 12 points and finished the final game with a score of 25-12.

While the gym at Tombstone High School is out of commission, the volleyball team has practiced at Walter J. Meyer and will continue to do so until the floor can be used again. Romero said the transition has been tough because he has 34 girls out for the three teams and the gym isn’t large enough for two nets to be set up.

However, the coach and players are making the best of the situation. Romero said his squad has an advantage practicing on the tile floor over the visiting teams because there is an adjustment that has to be made when playing.

There are only two returning players from last year’s starting lineup this year after the rest graduated in May. However, Romero says he has the pieces for a good team — they just need to learn to play together, since the group hasn’t played together very long.

“They could surprise people,” Romero said of his team. “As long as we see improvement, we’ll be a surprise this season.”

Tombstone is back on the court Monday when they host Valley Union.

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