The Grand Canyon High School volleyball team took a step backward last week with four straight losses in the 1A North Region.
Kara Foo passes the ball at Ash Fork Friday.
After a 4-0 start in the conference and signs of steady improvement, the Lady Phantoms stumbled at Ash Fork Friday and dropped both matches. The Spartans took victories of 13-15, 15-6, 15-6 and 15-13, 15-13.
"We didn’t come to play today," Grand Canyon coach Matt Yost said. "For the most part, the kids were kind of in a daze. It was frustrating."
In the first match, Grand Canyon took the first game but then fell apart in the second and third games. In fact, the coach benched all his starters at one point in favor of younger players.
Ash Fork carried its momentum over into the second match and one in two games. But Grand Canyon did play a little better in the closer.
"They didn’t give up, which is a positive," Yost said. "But there’s no reason why we should be down at any point in the game. Monica’s (Ash Fork coach Monica Martin) team came out to win."
The Lady Spartans had to rally to defeat Grand Canyon in the first game of the second match. Trailing 8-4, Ash Fork reeled off four straight to tie the game. Then after the Phantoms regained the lead at 9-8, Ash Fork got another streak going and scored six straight, all with the same server at the line.
The Phantoms had problems with passing and serve reception in that stretch and Ash Fork took advantage. Grand Canyon came back to score four straight of its own with Nikki Harvey serving. Melissa Monroe came up with a nice kill on the 12th point.
After the teams traded a few sideouts, Ash Fork finally scored the 15th point to gain the advantage in the match.
In the second game of the match, Grand Canyon got out to a 2-0 lead only to see Ash Fork go on a six-point streak. The Lady Spartans led 6-2 with the fourth, fifth and sixth points all coming on hitting miscues by the Phantoms.
Grand Canyon regrouped and tied things up 6-6 and then later took the lead, 10-8. The two teams aggressively attacked the net and had a half dozen long rallies. With the lead changing hands several times, Grand Canyon took a 13-12 lead with Adrianne Keebahe serving.
But that would be it for the Phantoms. Ash Fork scored the final three points and had the sweep.
On Saturday, the team elected to not play at unbeaten Joseph City with several players wanting to work at a Halloween carnival. The Wildcats were credited with two forfeit victories on an evening that was supposed to be their Senior Night.
Grand Canyon (4-4, 7-12) is scheduled to play at St. Michael on Friday afternoon to end the regular season. The Lady Phantoms will then serve as the host school to the 1A North Regional Tournament on Nov. 1.