Yuma volleyball has two Homecoming Week dates

Yuma High School’s volleyball team is hoping for a happy Homecoming Week.
The newly-christened Outlaws have two matches before the home fans this week. The official homecoming match will be Friday against Burlington, with the varsity match beginning around 5 p.m. The Outlaws also host Byers on Saturday starting at 11 a.m., prior to that evening’s Homecoming Dance.

“This week’s games will be just as tough as last week,” coach Jamie Robinson said. “Hopefully we can win a couple.”
Yuma got to play the top teams in Class 2A and 1A in back-to-back matches this past week. First up was a 3-0 loss at 2A top-ranked Wiggins last Friday, followed by a 3-0 loss at 1A top-ranked Merino this past Tuesday.
However, prior to that the Outlaws won an exciting home match last Thursday against Limon.
Yuma, 8-8 overall, 2-3 in the Lower Platte, was sitting at No. 21 in the 2A CHSAA RPI prior to the Merino match, and No. 15 in the MaxPreps Rankings. (The two metrics are being used to determine the postseason field.)
Burlington entered this week 6-6 overall, while Byers was 7-7, so once again it is going to be a battle of .500 teams for the Outlaws.
Robinson has been going deeper into the bench in recent matches, compared to earlier in the season, as the effort continues to find the most effective matchups.
“Rotating in more players is a way to see how deep we can go on the bench and how those players handle high pressure situations,” Robinson said.
It worked fairly well last Thursday against Limon in the newly-reopened Pit
It took awhile for Yuma to get going, but eventually claimed the win in four sets, 16-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-20.
It was rough going in the first set as Yuma fell behind by five or more points a few times, then saw Limon score five of the last six points.
Yuma also fell behind 5-9 in the second set, but then started to find a groove and eventually took a 12-11 lead. Yuma kept going from there, scoring the last six points.
The third set was closely contested, tied at 16, but the Outlaws went on a run for a 21-18 lead. Limon climbed back to within one, 22-21, but Yuma scored the last three for the win. The fourth set again was tied at 16, but again it was Yuma that made the plays down the stretch to claim the match.
“We had a pretty good game plan against Limon,” Robinson said, “and it was something we could just change by talking about a few things before the match.”
Caddis Robinson recorded 14 kills, Emma Rayl six, Jailyn Mekelburg five, Lauren Gonzales five, Bailey Nighswonger four, Izzie Young two, and Ashley Ibanez one. Nighswonger had 12 setting assists, Rayl 10 and Robinson eight. Robinson was in on eight total blocks, Gonzales three, and Ibanez and Nighswonger two each. Mekelburg was 18-18 serving with one ace, Gonzales 17-18, Nighswonger 15-15 with two aces, Robinson 14-14, Rayl 13-14, Ibanez 9-10 with three aces, and Taryn Sheffield 1-1. Yuma served 96.7 percent.
The Outlaws traveled west to Wiggins the next day, for the Tigers homecoming.
They never could keep up against top-ranked Wiggins in a 17-25, 14-25, 14-25. Yuma would fall behind, rally to get close again, but then the Tigers would reel off several points in a row for an insurmountable lead.
Serving came in at just 84.8 percent. Nighswonger was 9-11 with three aces, Robinson 7-8, Rayl 6-7, Mekelburg 5-7 with one ace, Gonzales 3-4 with one ace, Chloe Smith 3-3 and Alina Moran 3-3. Robinson had six kills, Gonzales three, Rayl three, Mekelburg two, and Moran and Nighswonger one each. Robinson had six assists, Nighswonger five and Rayl four.
The Outlaws lost in three at 1A No. 1 Merino, Tuesday night, 19-25, 11-25, 18-25.