Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Kelly-Ham duo has Nighthawks on rise as regionals loom

Citizen Staff Writer



He’s 6-feet-5 and could use a few more pounds on his wiry frame, but that’s the only possible catch to Zakary Kelly’s on-court presence.

The way the Ironwood Ridge senior haunts the volleyball net like a veteran, he must have been practically born with a ball in his hands.

Actually, Kelly, an outside hitter, began playing the sport last year and his development continues to amaze coach Bill Lang.

“He’s a late bloomer,” said Lang after Kelly registered 13 kills in a 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-17) homecourt victory against Cholla on Thursday.

“It was hard for him at the beginning. He was sick early this year and lost five pounds, but he has recovered well.”

Catching on quickly and being able to help the rangy Nighthawk frontline dominate rivals in the second part of the season has a lot to do with senior setter Sean Ham.

“We have developed trust and we know where the ball is going to be,” said Kelly of his setter. “He kind of quietly does the job.”

Ham had 31 assists and six kills Thursday night in his sneaky, effective way as the Nighthawks (14-9) were in trouble just twice. They yielded an early lead in the first game and had to rally from an 8-4 deficit in the third game. Ham served three crucial kills set like slow motion up and thunder down.

“I haven’t been as consistent as I should be,” Kelly said. “I had a couple of bad moves, but the way we can move the ball to the corner helps us.”

Lang calls it ball control.

“You can have the best guys, but it all depends on how we move it,” he said. “We’re going well now in time for the regionals next week.

“I guess you could say, yes, we have a dynamic front line.”

Kelly-Ham duo has Nighthawks on the rise at regionals loom

‘You can have the best guys, but it all depends on how we move it.’


Ironwood Ridge volleyball coach

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service