Salt River Junior High volleyball coaches Lynnann Yazzie and Nola Johnson have wrapped up their season after competing in the single-elimination Charter Athletic Association Junior High Tournament. They played in two matches and won their first against Basic of Chandler 25-19 in game one and 25-18 in game two. In their second match they competed against NFLYET and lost 25-17 and 25-23.
Johnson said the team has improved tremendously since the start of the season and is working hard. The team ended the season 4-8 overall with two sixth graders, one eighth grader and the remainder of the team was seventh graders.
Halfway through the season the girls started playing well again and Johnson said the kids tried really hard up against tough competition. She said the team lost a lot of really close games.
“The girls were able to overcome a lot of changes as far as players go and stayed positive, all while learning a lot about volleyball,” Johnson said. “The team wanted to learn more. They kept getting better and wanted to get better during every practice and I am hoping they will all come back next year.”
Last year Johnson said there were two junior high teams and she said they have the capacity to carry 12 girls on each team and it would be great to have that next season.
“It is great to watch the kids get a skill they have really been working on,” she said. “Watching a girl get her serve over the net when they never have been able to, is just really cool. The other great thing about this group is they finally understood how to pick someone up when they make a mistake. You give them a high five and pat on back and say ‘good try.’ They understood that and it was cool to see the majority of them doing so.”
Johnson said the girls understood when your teammates make a mistake they do not need their teammates coming down on you.
“It really changed them on the court and you could see some of that. It was neat as coaches for Yazzie and I to see that and that was the biggest thing going forward to next year,” she said.
The Junior High Volleyball team had a successful season and will look to improve next season.