Serious challenges ahead for Yuma volleyball

The Yuma Volleyball Team has climbed above .500, but some serious challenges await.
Yuma was 8-6 overall, 2-1 in the Lower Platte Activities Association, after this past Tuesday’s four-set loss at Haxtun and a four-set win at Limon.

The YVT pulled off a 3-1 win at Limon on Thursday before playing their Homecoming match Friday against top-ranked Wiggins. The team then hosts Merino on Tuesday.
Yuma was No. 37 in the Class 2A Rating Percentage Index early this week. A total of 36 schools will qualify for regional as there will be 12 three-team regional tournaments in early November. (The Pioneer mistakenly reported last week that 32 teams qualify for regional.)
Yuma will have plenty of chances of moving up as Wiggins is No. 2 in the RPI, and Limon No. 24. Merino is No. 1 in the 1A RPI, while Haxtun does not help as much being No. 22 in the 1A RPI.
“We just need to get above that magic number,” coach Jamie Robinson said. “It’s about to get busy. We have no rest now. We have nothing to lose, so we’ll see what we can take away from these games. We might surprise some of them.”
The YVT went 3-1 last weekend to climb above .500 for the first time this season.
Yuma got it going last Friday at home with a league win over Caliche, 26-24, 25-12 and 25-19.
The first set was back and forth the whole way. It was not looking good for Yuma as Caliche took a 24-22 lead, but the home team was able to reel off four straight to escape with the win.
Yuma was able to take control after that, winning the next two sets for the match victory.
Caddis Robinson led the net attack with 11 kills, while Jailyn Mekelburg had 10, Alina Moran five, Lea Richardson four, Emma Rayl two, and Lyndsey Mekelburg and Elizabeth Mendoza one each. Rayl had 13 setting assists, Richardson seven, and Robinson and Moran four each. Rayl led in digs and serve receive.
Yuma served just 87.8 percent as a team, but had some strong individual efforts. L. Mekelburg was 18-18, Robinson 12-12 with two aces, Liddy Day 11-13, J. Mekelburg 10-12 with two aces, Rayl 9-12 with three aces, and Richardson 4-6.
The YVT traveled west to the Akron Tournament on Saturday, going 2-1 and finishing third overall.
Tourney action began against Stratton, which handed Yuma a 19-25, 20-25, 25-22, 23-25 loss.
Yuma picked up it up after dropping the first two sets, rallying for an exciting win in the third set. Yuma fell behind 8-16 in the fourth, but rallied with eight straight points to force a Stratton timeout. The set stayed tight the rest of the way. Yuma led 23-21 but could not finish, dropping four straight points to see the set end with a two-point loss.
L. Mekelburg was 16-16 serving with one ace, Rayl 15-15, J. Mekelburg 19-21 with one ace, Day 12-12 with one ace, Robinson 12-14 with one ace, and Cheyanne McCreath 8-9. Robinson recorded 12 kills, J. Mekelburg 10, L. Mekelburg seven, oran three, and Rayl and Richardson two each. Rayl had 14 assists, Richardson nine, Robinson four, and Moran three. Robinson led in serve receive, and L. Mekelburg, Robinson, Richardson, Rayl and Day all finished in double figures in digs. Yuma was strong at the net defensively as Robinson was in on six blocks and Rayl five.
Yuma recovered from the loss to roll past Akron in its final pool play match, 25-11, 25-10 and 25-9.
Day was hot at the service line finishing 24-24 with seven aces. She had streaks of 11 straight and 10 straight. J. Mekelburg was 12-12 with five aces, Rayl 11-12 with two aces, Robinson 11-11 with three aces, McCreath 8-9 with three aces, and L. Mekelburg 5-5 with one ace. J. Mekelburg had 11 kills, Robinson seven, L. Mekelburg six, Rayl four and Richardson three. Rayl recorded 12 setting assists, Robinson nine, and Richardson and L. Mekelburg four each.
Going 1-1 in pool play set up Yuma to play Holyoke in the third-place match. (Otis went on to beat Stratton in four sets in the championship match.)
Yuma had little trouble in the first two sets, winning 25-16 and 25-16. However, the Dragons gave a push in the third set, rallying to take a 23-21 lead only to see Yuma score four straight to close out the set and match.
Yuma served 94.5 percent. McCreath was 14-14 with one ace, Robinson 13-15 with one ace, L. Mekelburg 12-12 with two aces, Day 10-10, Mendoza 8-8 with one ace, J. Mekelburg 6-6, and Chloe Smith 5-6. J. Mekelburg recorded 14 kills, Robinson 12, Richardson five, L. Mekelburg four, and Moran and McCreath two each. Richardson led in assists with 15, and McCreath had 10.
Yuma has seen several different players go off on long serving streaks this season.
“It shows a log when you can serve so many without any misses,” Robinson said. “They players call the service. It helps them take ownership in it, take pride in it.
“If everyone can just take care of themselves, we’ll be all right.”
Yuma was dominated in the first set in the loss at Haxtun, this past Tuesday. Yuma battled well after that, losing a late lead in the second set, but then pulling out a win in the third. The YVT kept it close throughout the fourth set, but could not overcome the Fightin’ Bulldogs, suffering its first league loss of the season.