Red Mesa Lady Redskins fall to Pinon in first game of fall season

Red Mesa Lady Redskins 2023-2024 (Photo/ azpreps365.com)

Red Mesa Lady Redskins 2023-2024 (Photo/ azpreps365.com)

RED MESA, Ariz. — Red Mesa fell to Pinon in the season opener Aug. 24, 2-1 (22-25, 10-25, 25-27).

First year head volleyball coach Allison Joe is excited about her high school team this year. Although the former assistant calls it a rebuilding year for the Red Mesa Lady Redskins, she has several returning players she expects to make a big impact.

The team has seven seniors, but some of them haven't played on the team before. Three of them were strong players in previous seasons, and Joe is expecting great things from them.

Her most powerful player is Lila Tree, the middle hitter on the team. At 5'6", she needs a good vertical jump to compete with taller players from other schools. She's noted as a powerful server, and is the lone member of the team with a jump serve.

Another senior, Jasmine Brady, will have a key role as the team's libero. Last year she was a defensive specialist, but has transitioned to her new position.

"She is all over the court," Joe said. "She's a good digger and sets things up well for our setter."

Denali Nakai, who didn't play last year, is the team's No. 1 setter. According to Joe, she has a very soft touch on sets, and can be depended on to set up balls well for the hitters. She's also known for having a very accurate serve.

The outside hitting position belongs to Tianna Bradley, a junior. Her strength will be a big asset to the team, as will her accurate placement of hits, Joe said. Her serves are powerful and accurate, and improving daily.

"These four are key assets to our varsity," Joe said. "I'm still filling the other slots. We have a big team this year with 28 girls."

"I believe we can do great things this year,” she said. “These girls are very motivated, and communicate well. When they stop talking, the ball drops. When they talk, the ball never hits the floor. The older girls help the younger ones. Even with my assistant coach, Jee Acosta, it's hard to oversee 28 girls."

The girls are coming off a 15-11 overall record, and a 5-3 1A North mark from last season.

The next home game for the Lady Redskins is with Grand Canyon Sept. 1 at 6 p.m.

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