WILLCOX — A tough early schedule and some youthful lack of consistency has equaled a slow start for the Willcox Cowgirls volleyball varsity.

The Cowgirls actually have a reasonable 1-1 regular- season record so far but were humbled at the Wolfpack Invitational at Desert Christian on Friday and Saturday, going 1-6 against a bevy of private schools.

“The kids played hard,” head coach Todd Debaun said. “The only negative is, we didn’t execute when we needed to; and I didn’t have them prepared like I thought I did.”

They lost four matches Friday to Immaculate Heart, North Pointe, Phoenix Christian and Valley Lutheran. The Cowgirls were able to defeat Academy of Tucson on Saturday morning before leaving with losses to Desert Ridge and North Pointe again.

“We struggled with little things and gave up too many runs to our opponents,” Debaun said. “Desert Ridge — a 6A Tucson school — was the only one we were overmatched by.”

Earlier in the week, Willcox captured its home opener by sweeping San Miguel, 25-19, 25-23, 25-13.

“In the second game, we got down quite a bit and Dany Pando got us a huge run with her serving,” Debaun said. “They just don’t quit; they keep fighting.”

The Cowgirls also showed some fight in their road opener Tuesday at Desert Christian. Junior Natasia Diaz, of Bowie, had a strong serving run that helped them capture the first game, 25-23, before the Tucson squad used its bigger hitters to hold Willcox off the rest of the way for a 3-1 win.

The Cowgirls have a chance to bounce back when they host San Manuel (0-1) Wednesday before traveling to the Flowing Wells tournament Friday and hosting a big match with Morenci (2-0) next Tuesday.

“I’m looking for our kids to play better on serve receive. I’m expecting a better performance out of our back row and a bigger hitting performance on our front row,” Debaun said. “It’s going to take everybody playing their position to get it done.”

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