Rock Point Cougars bring home title at 1A State Volleyball Championships
Cougars defeat Williams in five sets; finish season 13-1

The Rock Point Cougars defeated the Williams Vikings Nov. 5 at the 1A State Championships at Coronado High School in Scottsdale. (Marilyn R. Sheldon/NHO)

The Rock Point Cougars defeated the Williams Vikings Nov. 5 at the 1A State Championships at Coronado High School in Scottsdale. (Marilyn R. Sheldon/NHO)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Rock Point Lady Cougars brought home their second consecutive state title Nov. 5, when they defeated the Williams Vikings, 3-2, at the 1A State Championships at Coronado High School in Scottsdale.

The Cougars dug deep and battled the Vikings in five sets to claim the title.

The team took the Vikings by surprise in first set, beating the Vikings 25-16.

Williams rebounded in set two, fighting their way to a 27-25 win.

The Vikings won set three, 25-22, to move the game to 2-1, before Rock Point roared back with a 25-15 win in the fourth set.

With the game 2-2, the team battled for the title in a game five, tying it up at 10-10 before the Cougars moved ahead to get the win, 15-11.

The Cougars cruised into the state championships with a 13-1 record, their only loss was to the Vikings Aug. 27.

It was the last time the Cougars would lose this season.

“I knew we were capable,” Rock Point Head Coach Kyle Arthur said. “After our first championship last year, expectations were very high. We lost five seniors, including our setter, last year. I told them to trust the process, and work hard. I’m very thankful they stuck with it.”

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The Rock Point Cougars defeated the Williams Vikings Nov. 5 at the 1A State Championships at Coronado High School in Scottsdale. (Marilyn R. Sheldon/NHO)

Senior Arian Begay led the offense with 40 kills in the five sets. Senior setter June Yazzie had 31 assists, and junior Kamry Yazzie tallied 17 assists.

The six-foot-one Begay finished the season with 702 kills, 67 blocks and 94 aces.

Despite being ranked second going into the tournament, the path wasn’t easy for the Cougars.

After a three-set, first-round win over Desert Christian at home Nov. 1, things got tougher for the Cougars.

The Cougars faced the Mogollon Mustangs in the quarter finals Nov. 4 and lost the first set, 17-25. However, the Cougars rallied and won the next three sets, 26-24, 25-27 and 25-14 to advance to the semi-finals.

Facing the Joseph City in the semi-finals, the Wildcats forced a five-set match before falling to the Cougars (25-19, 25-17, 17-25, 20-25).

The Cougars went to work in the tie breaker, and ground out a 15-11 victory to advance to the finals.

Arthur had nothing but praise for his team.

“Ive been with these girls since their eighth grade year,” he said. “They’ve overcome lots of obstacles, and know they can overcome adversity. they have great chemistry, and are comfortable with themselves.”

“Anna (Arianne Begay) has a work ethic that is out of this world. She hasn’t missed a pratice this year, and is a great example for her teammates.”

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