11/8/2012 6:01:00 AM KAHS takes second place for second straight year
Kingman Academy’s Ashlea Tomlinson goes up for a volley during a match in late September. The Lady Tigers lost to Mesa Heritage in the championship match of the 3A CAA state tournament.
For the second year in a row, Kingman Academy advanced to the championship match of the 3A Charter Athletic Association's state volleyball tournament.
And for the second year in a row they returned to Kingman as state runners-up.
"I don't want to be the Buffalo Bills of the 90's," said KAHS coach Jason Judd, referring to the Bills' futility in the Super Bowl in the early 1990s that resulted in four straight losses in the championship game.
The Lady Bulldogs fell to Mesa Heritage 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 21-25) on Saturday as KAHS lost to the eventual state champions for the third year.
"It was very disappointing. It was dishearting to see them come together and work so hard only see things fall apart in the championship game," Judd said. "We did have moments of playing well. One of the harder moments is that we aren't a big team and they outplayed us at the net and that could've been our undoing."
KAHS advanced to the championship match after defeating Tri-City 3-2 (24-26, 25-18, 25-22, 18-25 15-13) on Friday.
"It was a great match. It was close the entire time," Judd said. "It was two great teams that were battling it out. We just happened to come out ahead. It was a great victory."
After defeating South Ridge in the opening round of the tournament, Judd had challenged his players to up the intensity.
It's a challenge that Judd feels his team answered.
"After the first-round of the playoffs, I cleaned some stuff up with the girls," Judd said. "I was disappointed with their first round performance and the week leading up to that we were focused. I think a lot of them realized that we were not going to get far unless we changed something around, and we made those changes."
Judd expects to lose one senior and another player because the family is relocating, but despite this he feels his team is capable of making another run and hopefully finally getting over that championship hump.
"We are losing our leader, but we will have a lot more experience going into next year," Judd said. "They stepped it up at state. We will definitely have the ability to be better and I think there is a decent amount of freshmen coming up, so it's nice to see that talent coming up."