The Lady Lobos met Benson for the second time in two weeks, with nearly identical results. Patagonia was away at Benson, for a 3-0 loss, when Faith Hendricks was injured. Hendricks has been on the injured list for four games, including Tuesday’s rematch against Benson. That, plus Crianna Padilla’s absence for personal reasons, shortened the Lady Lobos roster and contributed to the Lady Bobcats’ 3-0 win on Tuesday.
Hendricks is Patagonia’s height, and Padilla—who had not missed a game in two seasons until now—is their glue. Without them, the Lady Bobcats came out strong, putting all 25 points on the board, while holding Patagonia to five in the first set. Sets two and three saw the Lady Lobos improving, but not winning. Game two saw Benson double Patagonia’s scoring at 25-12. The final game was much closer, with the Lady Lobos tying Benson at 8 and 10 points, but losing by five at 25-20.
Hendricks should be back soon, Lady Lobo head coach Stephanie Padilla said. “We’ve had Faith out for two weeks now, but I thought the kids who played for them stepped up. We didn’t win, but I kind of look at the overall … they’re improving every game. They are moving more and I’m trying to work with that. I saw a lot of good things out there.”
Hendricks’ return depends on her doctor, Padilla said. “She should be back next week. She did go and have x-rays done today, so we have to see what they say. Crianna will be back tomorrow.”
With Padilla and Hendricks out, the Bobcats’ skill at the net made the difference.
“I have a couple of very good outside hitters,” Benson head coach Kimberly East said. “Kendra Behr, number 22, didn’t show it today, but the other day against St. David, she was 20 of 28 for kills from the spike line. She had a 75 percent kill ratio.
“Katelin Ames, number four, is our other strong outside hitter,” she added. “I’ve got a couple of good middle blockers coming along. My setters are developing and starting to play really well. We’re coming together a little bit.
While Benson lost their first three games and won the next nine, Patagonia has only defeated Baboquivari, out of their first 11 games. With Padilla and Hendricks out, Savannah Foster, a sophomore who coach Padilla predicted was ‘going to be big for us this season,’ and other underclassmen took the lead.
“I think our third game went really well,” Foster said. “I think we talked really well on the court. I think we definitely could have done better, but I think it went OK.”
Benson is a bigger school, Foster said, and a little taller at the net.
“I think we will definitely do better (today),” she said when the varsity hosts San Miguel (7-2) at 5 p.m.
“I’m really looking forward to our homecoming,” Foster said. “I think it will be really fun.”
San Miguel is tough, Padilla said. “I know they beat Rio Rico (3-0 on Sept. 18), so we have a pretty tough game.”