On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the Horizon Honors girls’ volleyball team was eager to win against the Fountain Hills Falcons, as this game decided if the team will compete in the state tournament. Several of the seniors have been playing on the team for years, and didn’t want to miss their final chance to get to state. The bleachers were filled with students and fans in red, white, and blue to support the girls in what could potentially be their last game of the season.
The first set was close, but Fountain Hills pulled ahead to a 6-9 lead that didn’t seem to faze the Lady Eagles. A kill from senior Camryn Marshall tied the game, and from there, Horizon Honors kept their lead, ending the first set at 25-23.
In the second set, Horizon Honors the girls kept their lead, peaking at 10-3 before failing to defend against a particularly vicious hit. Fountain Hills closed in, coming within one point. The lead was extended by a bump from senior Jordan Cook. From there, Horizon Honors held out, ending the set with a five-point lead.
In the third set, Fountain Hills scored the first point, could have set the tone, especially since several of the Horizon Honors girls ended up on the floor, unable to defend against the Lady Falcons. But the tempo changed after HH coach Kris Maglunog made some changes, and the Eagles scored point after point. Sophomore Elizabeth Stover and freshman Jade Collins worked together to block and subsequently score, bringing Fountain Hills to call a timeout with the score at 12-7. Even after an attempt to reorganize their team, the Falcons simply couldn’t catch up, with the score soon sitting at 24-16.
The fans watched silently, raising their index fingers in the air to signal that Horizon Honors needed one more point to win the match. Fountain Hills scored, lengthening the game, but the fans continued to cheer for Horizon Honors, fingers waving. Moments later, the Eagles scored the final point, solidifying their spot in the state tournament.
Senior Maya Smith reflected on the season, saying that they had “obviously hoped” to win this game. But, she was proud to say that the team is “really close” as a group. She went on to explain, “I would say we’re all friends. We see each other outside of school, we always hang out. I think this is the tightest team we’ve ever had.” As this close-knit team makes its way to State, Horizon Honors is proud to support their volleyball girls’ team as far as they can go.