PRESCOTT VALLEY – It doesn’t seem to matter in which division that Flagstaff High’s girls play.
The Eagles have volleyball magic.
They followed up their amazing unbeaten run on the way to winning the Division II title in 2012 with a hard-fought, five-set win over Glendale Cactus for the Division III crown on Saturday night (Nov. 9) at Tim’s Toyota Center.
Flagstaff won the first set 25-23 and dropped the next two, 25-19 and 25-15. The third-seeded Eagles regrouped for a 25-11 domination in Game 4, and outlasted Cactus 17-15 in Game 5 to take the trophy home to the pines.
The fifth game was as a decisive game should be, going back and forth.
It was tied at 15, thanks to a kill by Cactus’ Kennedie Henige, but Flagstaff scratched out the last two points.
After the third game, Flagstaff coach Beth Haglin and her players talked about believing in each other.
“Then they just went out and took it,’’ she said.
She did not know much about Cactus, except for watching the fifth-seeded Cobras in the quarterfinals against Kayenta Monument Valley and in their sweep of top-seeded Snowflake in the semifinals earlier on Saturday.
“They fight for every ball,’’ she said.
Of the match overall, she said, “Neither team wanted to lose.’’
Flagstaff has faced the best of both worlds in Division II and Division III.
“Division II is well-disciplined, and Division III plays with so much discipline, so much heart, not that Division II doesn’t, but it always seems to come out,’’ Haglin said.
The Eagles got strong efforts up front from Randi Powers and Courtney Leffel.
Leffel isn’t the tallest player around, but she gets tremendous hang time and follows through with a powerful shot.
Powers was solid on offense and defensively on the block.
With Henige and Tara Melton roaming along the net, Cactus put forth a valiant effort, but came up short.