COOLIDGE — The American Leadership Academy Ironwood volleyball team has had a tough start to the season.

With a two losing streaks on their resume this season, the team has struggled to find consistency and a rhythm. However, the Warriors found the rhythm they were looking for Tuesday night, sweeping Pinal County rival Coolidge in three sets by a score of 25-16, 25-7, 25-22.

The Warriors were led by dominating performances at the net by seniors Jordyn Hartman and Payton Bowan.

The senior pair combined for 10 kills on the night, with Hartman collecting six, and Bowan four. Bowan was a standout on the defensive side as well, stuffing the opposing attack and connecting on two blocks.

ALA Ironwood had a dominant second set; keeping the Bears to only seven points scored, and hitting five straight points on two separate occasions, as well as a 7-0 scoring run.

Although the Bears tried to battle back in the third set, keeping the Warriors to a small lead down the stretch, it was a case of too little, too late, as ALA Ironwood would take the set and the win.

“It feels really good to get the win,” ALA Ironwood head coach Melissa Price said. “We have had some tough competitions these last few weeks, we have been playing some tournaments so it feels really good to finally get that W, especially in our first region game.”

Although the Warriors came into the game with a losing record of 4-13, the team did not play like a team with only five wins on the year. The team communicated with each other well, and their movements and formations were as clean as can be.

“Yeah we have had a really tough preseason,” Price said. “But we did that to make sure that they were here right now for this level. They have been doing a lot of preparation work and a lot of playing so we could get to play well like this right now at this point in the season.”

Price said that this win is going to really boost the confidence of her players for the rest of the year, saying that the team is gelling well together, and their chemistry is at a good place.

“Their movement and their connection are great, they were doing a good job of talking to each other and getting those plays on the court,” Price said.

The Warriors will look to build on this win ahead of their home match against Globe Thursday, while the Bears on the fall to 2-5 on the year, and will look to bounce back on the road against Thatcher.

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David Church is a reporter covering Eloy, Arizona City and sports. He can be reached at dchurch@pinalcentral.com.

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