Maricopa varsity volleyball celebrates its ninth win. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

After a hard-fought victory over Ironwood (1-11) Wednesday, the Maricopa High School volleyball team is undefeated in 5A Metro play. Outside of tournament competition, the Rams are 9-3 overall.

The win over the rebuilding Eagles – 25-23, 25-21, 29-27 – was tighter than it appeared on paper, with Maricopa having to recover from a seven-point deficit in the third game. Coach Jecksan Quinones called it “an amazing comeback.”

“They were down and they decided to come back and start fighting,” he said. “We had some trouble with players not getting to where they were supposed to be getting, but eventually they worked together and they accomplished what was my goal. I think this is the first time Maricopa beat Ironwood in three years.”

Hosting Wednesday’s match, Maricopa got off to a strong start in the first game, but Ironwood was no pushover. The Eagles came back and pressed the Rams to the end. Ironwood trailed the Rams in the second game, but came back and tied at 9-all and 20-all before Maricopa finally shook loose.

The third game went upside down at the beginning for the Rams, who trailed 9-16. With aggressive plays, they fought back to catch the Eagles at 24-all and then passed them the take the game and the match.

The Rams started the week with a five-game loss to Poston Butte and win over Apollo in straight sets. Last week, they ran through Apollo and Casa Grande.

They are 4-0 in Metro 5A play, tied at the top with Sunnyslope (3-0). Sunnyslope is ranked second in the state in 5A. Maricopa is ranked 19th. Sunnyslope is Maricopa’s next home opponent, Monday at 6 p.m.

“If we play the way we can, I believe that will be a very interesting game,” Quinones said.

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