The Arabians played an impressive game in the rivalry matchup with the Owls.
By Kayleen Holder
The Varsity Arabians all played together as a team and showed great hustle and great attitude when things got tough, sending the Owls back across the creek with a loss. Here’s some of the game highlights!
In the first match, we started off a little behind, but a kill by Brooklyn Miller a nice ace by Kaylee Romano got the momentum running in the right direction at 6-8. An attack by Airyanna Rodriguez also threw the Owls a little off balance. On a set by Kynedie Cruz, Miller finished off the volley with a kill to make it 21-23. A great kill by Rylee Esquibel took us to 22-24, but the Owls shut down our last attack with a block to win the first set 22-25 (Owls).
The Arabians quickly answered that with some great attacks and digs, and a big block by Maddie Dubose to start off the second set. The crowd got loud when DuBose shut down the Owls again with another block giving the Arabians a 4-1 lead. Great passes by Dishman and others set up attack after attack by Miller and Equibel. And another big block by DuBose and Rodriguez got more momentum going at 12-7. Two great digs by Miller and Dishman led to slam dunk kills by Esquibel, furthering the Arabians lead on a set by Cruz at 14-11. A short quick set in the middle led to another kill by Skylar Blanton at 15-11. Another kill by Esquibel on a set by Cruz and a kill by Blanton on a set by Featherly took us to 18-12. Near the end of the match, Featherly and Dishman really hustled chasing a ball to the back of the court to keep it in play, and after a long volley with many great attacks, a kill by Miller sealed the deal at 23-16. On another great dig by Dishman and set by Featherly, Esquibel slammed down the game point with a kill at 25-16.
Esquibel laid down our first kill of the third match after a long volley, and nobody could even touch the next kill she sent over that tied the game up at 3-3. Featherly made a great save when the Owls managed to block Esquibel, but she soon fired it right back at them from the other side for another Arabian kill to make it 5-4. It was Blanton who put down the next ball with a kill out of the middle making the crowd get a little loud at 7-4. Miller had a hard to get hit in the perfect spot for the next point. A tip by Blanton and kill by Miller took us up to 11-6. A serve by Cruz couldn’t be returned by the Owls at 12-6. On a bad call the Owls gained a little ground, but Esquibel soon set it straight with another great kill at 14-9. Another tip by Blanton found a hole, and a softie by Esquibel really threw the Owls off bringing it to 17-15. Cruz sent over a great serve and Miller sent over a hit so hard you could hear it ricochet at 20-17. A great dig by Dishman, set by Cruz and slam by Esquibel that was too fast for the Owls to even touch put us up 24-20. Esquibel attacked the ball from the other side on the next play on a nice set up by Featherly to end t third set with a win 25-21.
Rodriguez hit a soft spot in the middle of the court to gain our first point in the fourth match. It wasn’t long before Esquibel sent over another kill from the front and Miller was next with a kill from the back, all on solid serving by Dishman. On a really nice dig by Dishman, Miller was set up for another great attack that left the Owls scrambling at 5-3. Featherly sent over an ace to shake them up at 7-5, and set up Blanton for a kill out of the middle at 8-6. Kaylee Romano sent over a nice serve and after a long volley, a kill by DuBose took us up 12-7. The crowd got nice and loud again at 15-8 when Miller slammed it down again. Miller ended a long volley with great digs by Dishman and Esquibel a few plays later too by busting up a block to make it 18-10, with the Arabians leading. Up 20-12 in the final match, a great serve by Dishman wasn’t returned taking us to 21. Her solid serving and a couple Owl errors took us to 23-13. The Owls weren’t ready to give up, but the Arabians came out on top on the next point thanks to a GREAT hustle by everyone on the court. On game point, Featherly set up Esquibel for a great kill no Owl would dare lay a hand on to finish the game.
While we can’t capture every single play that was made, every Arabian on the roster plays an important role on the team. It’s obvious that they truly work together as a team. The 2023-24 Varsity Arabians are: Kaylee Romano, Charlee Rangel, Rylee Esquibel, Kelsey Dishman, Kynedie Cruz, Airyanna Rodriguez, Brooklyn Miller, Aimee Carr, Brooke Thompson, Kate Featherly, Bella Flores, Skylar Blanton, and Maddie DuBose.