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Flagstaff beach volleyball's No. 1s secure home victory over Deer Valley
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Flagstaff beach volleyball's No. 1s secure home victory over Deer Valley

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Courts three and four set up them up and the No. 1s knocked them down Wednesday for the Flagstaff Eagles beach volleyball team.

Gracelyn Nez and Bridget won the decider at the Flagstaff Athletic Club-East, helping lift the 11th-ranked Eagles to a 3-2 home win over the seventh-ranked Deer Valley Skyhawks in a meeting of Division II squads battling for better seeding as the regular season nears its end.

Ava Jenkins and Berlynn Fowler were the straight-set victors, 21-17, 21-14 at court four for Flagstaff, which increased its win streak to four straight with just two matches remaining on its regular-season slate.

Flagstaff (8-2, 2-0 Section Four) entered the windy contest as winners of three of its last five, with the current win streak starting with three consecutive shutouts over teams currently ranked outside the top 14.

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Deer Valley (7-2, 3-0 Section Five) suffered its second loss to a Flagstaff-based team over the course of a week, as the Skyhawks fell while hosting No. 2 Coconino last Wednesday.

Flagstaff's No. 3s, Gabby Bernasconi and Elise Galland, battled for a first-game win, 21-17 and then stepped on the gas on the way to a 21-9 outcome in their favor in the second set, putting the ball in the top pairings' courts.

"The team played great," Eagles head coach Beth Haglin said. "All five pairs played very composed."

Haylee Gilleland and Alida Perry fell at court two, 24-22, 21-16, for Flagstaff, which is now 2-0 when forced to play a deciding match. Tyla Brydenthal and Fallon Peters dropped their match at No. 5s, 21-9, 21-18.

"The wind was crazy sometimes, but it was on both sides. It came down to the ones, and Gracelyn and Bridget did a great job of making adjustments to the wind and their opponent," Haglin said.

Flagstaff is at River Valley High School next to take on the Dust Devils for a Monday match set for a 4 p.m. start in Mohave Valley.


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