No one on the Chandler Valley Christian side could dispute this: Phoenix Northwest Christian played better in the teams’ state 2A girls volleyball semifinal Saturday morning.
But Valley Christian had a point of contention — literally — in its season finale. It came in the third game of Northwest Christian’s 25-21, 25-19, 25-23 victory at Peoria High School.
Valley Christian took a 20-18 lead. The scoreboard showed the score tied 19-19.
Valley Christian coach Molly Stark tried to get a referee’s attention. He instructed her to wait until after the next point. Northwest Christian won the next point to make it 20-19.
The coaches and officials consulted. Valley Christian principal Clark Stephens was in the stands keeping a score book. He tried to enter into the discussion but was shooed away.
The scoreboard was changed to make it 20-20, then back to 20-19 in Northwest Christian’s favor.
The Tribune’s running total showed the score should have been 20-19 in Valley’s favor. The Crusaders went on to win the game and the match.
Northwest Christian beat St. Johns 25-16, 21-25, 25-22, 24-26, 15-5 in the final Saturday.
After the semifinal, everyone but the seething Valley Christian fans was pretty much mum. The AIA has rules to keep school officials and coaches from complaining about officiating.
“It’s unfortunate there was confusion,” Stephens said.
“It happens,” Stark said.
Site director Phil Camacho said he had no comment.
“The match is over,” he said. “There’s nothing that could be done now.”
Valley Christian, which had beaten the Crusaders a week earlier in the Metro Region tournament final, looked strong in the early going.
Alaina Bergsma had four kills as the Trojans raced to a 7-2 lead. They led most of the game and went ahead 20-17 on a kill by Stacey Jones.
But then the Trojans fell apart, making unforced errors and bad passes.
Kayenta Monument Valley and Parker played for the 3A crown late Saturday.
In the 1A tournament, San Simon defeated Heber Mogollon 20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 15-13 in the title match.