The District 1-5A volleyball standings got a little murkier last week, when the seventh-ranked Cleveland Storm handed No. 4 Volcano Vista a 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 25-27, 15-9 setback in the Storm Center.
Junior outside hitter Arianna Jamerson led the way, pounding out 24 kills for the Storm, who won the first two sets, came close to a sweep before losing the third set, then failed to secure match point after leading 25-24 in the fourth set — ended by a pair of Hawks aces.
The Storm didn’t rattle after giving up the first three points of the decisive fifth set, played to 15. CHS grabbed a 6-4 lead, pushed it to 10-8, and then went on a 5-1 run to put it away, capped by an ace on the match’s final serve by Klarysa Salazar.
“We played so well in (sets one and two — that was probably the best we’ve played in years,” coach Brian Ainsworth said.
“(Jamerson) had 24 (kills) out of 53 attacks; she played beautifully,” Ainsworth added. “Claire Wade — 17 out of 33; she played beautifully. I think we messed up passing the ball in sets three and four — everything was behind the 10-foot line; we’re not that type of team.
“As a team, this was the best first two sets we played since my freshman year,” Jamerson said. “We should’ve had it in three.
“I have very high expectations for myself, so I think I could have done a lot better,” she said. “But coming off of having a rough couple of games, this was a good one.
“I think this team is capable of beating anyone, as long as we don’t beat ourselves,” she said. “We learn from what we do and we improve.”
She wouldn’t take any credit for being the regular team leader: “Whoever needs to step up, steps up.”
The Storm have just one match this week: District-leading Cibola drops into the Storm Center Thursday for a 6:30 p.m. match. In the teams’ earlier meeting, the Cougars won the first two sets, then the Storm won two sets, taking the match to a fifth deciding set, won by the host Coogs.
… Rio Rancho (6-8, 1-2) was defeated (25-19, 25-23, 25-22) by visiting Volcano Vista Thursday evening and slipped into fourth place. The Rams have two road matches this week: at Cibola Tuesday and at Atrisco Heritage Academy on Thursday.