The West Valley will be well represented next week when the 2010 Girls Volleyball State Tournament tips off.
Cactus High School earned a No. 1 seed and finished with an 18-6 record, including a 10-0 run through 4A-II Black Canyon Region.
Led by 10 seniors, including middle hitters Lindsey Abramson Chelsea Phillips and outside hitter Kinsey Minter, the Cobras appeared poised for another run to the finals. However, if they reach the semifinals, a rematch against No. 5 Seton Catholic looms. Cactus lost in the finals last season to the Sentinels in the 4A-II finals.
The Cobras will face Buckeye Youngker (16-14, 8-3 in Skyline region). The Rough Riders lone region losses came against No. 7 seed Liberty and Buckeye.
Youngker is led by seniors Jazmyn Hunter and Alexis Segovia. Hunter led the team in kills (157), blocks (15) and service aces (15) while Segovia was voted player of the year by her teammates and paced the Rough Riders with 133 assists.
Game time is 7 p.m. Tuesday at Cactus High School.
No. 10 CHOLLA at No. 7 LIBERTY
Liberty finished the regular, non-tournament season undefeated, and their only losses came against 5A schools Sandra Day O’Connor, Millennium and Basha. All three reached the playoffs this year.
Junior Noel Pauga led the Lions with 235 kills while junior Tatum Cushing finished the regular season with 215 assists.
Liberty will face Tucson Cholla who finished third in the Gila Region. The Chargers are paced by junior captain and outside hitter Rachel Garcia with 183 kills and 304 digs.
No. 9 SUNRISE MOUNTAIN at No. 8 CIENEGA
Sunrise Mountain (9-7, 4-2 in West Valley Region), after having first round home matches for the past two years, will travel to Vail Cienega (9-7, 4-2 in Kino Region) this season.
The Mustangs lost jut three regular season, non-tournament matches this year – Cactus (3-1), Kellis (3-2) and Sunnyslope (3-0). Junior setter keyed the offense with 552 assists, feeding senior outside hitter Madison Durham who finished with 223 kills this season. Senior Brittany Oddo added 277 digs on defense.
Stephanie Mendivil led Cienega with 122 kills and 31 blocks and Paige Mcintosh had 310 assits.
No. 15 PEORIA at No. 2 SABINO
Peoria earned its first State Tournament nod since 2007, when they were knocked out in the first round by Tucson Sabino in four sets. The Panthers (15-9, 9-4 in West Valley Region) have a chance to avenge that loss this year as they once again open against the Sabercats (22-1, 8-0 in Sonoran Region).
Sabino’s lone loss came against 5A-II Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor and are led by senior Maddie Bushman (224 kills) and sophomore Courtney Spalt (459 assists).
The Panthers are led by junior Bailey Nations (181 kills), senior Jenna Plummer (54 blocks) and junior Brittany Dobson (363 assists).
No. 12 DESERT RIDGE at No. 5 MOUNTAIN RIDGE
The Mountain Lions receive a tough test in its opener as it welcomes Mesa Desert Ridge, who they defeated in the season opener.
Mountain Ridge (13-12, 11-2 in Northwest Region) had a near perfect run through the region, falling twice to only Deer Valley. Desert Ridge (26-10, 11-1 in East Valley Region) took its region despite a loss to No. 10 seed Mountain Pointe.
No. 14 SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR at No. 3 CENTENNIAL
Centennial (24-6, 10-0 in Desert West Region) enters the State Tournament in a familiar position – as one of the favorites. The Coyotes lost two regular season, non-tournament matches, falling to Desert Vista and Basha, both 5A-I schools.
Phoenix O’Connor (23-15, 7-7 in Northwest Region) nearly upended Centennial in the Goldwater Tournament, falling 2-1, and will have a tough shot at reaching the quarterfinals for the fourth straight season. The Coyotes have made the 5A-II semifinals each of the past three seasons, and the finals two of the past three, winning the title in 2008.
No. 9 RINCON at No. 8 IRONWOOD
After dropping four of its first six regular season, non-tournament matches, Ironwood turned its season around and will play host to a first round game. During that early stretch, the Eagles (14-9, 8-3 in Desert West Region) faced State Tournament teams Horizon, Centennial, Deer Valley and Desert Mountain.
Tucson Rincon (12-7, 7-3 in Southern Region) earned its best seeding since 2007 when it was a 7-seed and reached the semifinals. The Rangers lost to Centennial that year.
No. 13 VALLEY VISTA at No. 4 DEER VALLEY
Deer Valley (30-10, 13-1 in Northwest Region) is coming off its lone region loss and looks to regain its momentum as it welcomes some familiar faces in the first round – Surprise Valley Vista 20-8, 7-6 in Northwest Region). The Skyhawks and Monsoon faced each other twice this season, with Deer Valley claiming all six sets.
This will be Valley Vista’s first trip to the State Tournament. The Monsoon was led this season by Ashley Fawcett’s 510 assists and Ashley Towers 221 kills and 318 digs.
The veteran Skyhawks, led by senior Lauren Haeger’s 290 kills and senior Kayla Kane’s 814 assists, need to get by the Monsoon for a shot at redeeming last season’s first round ouster to Scottsdale Desert Mountain. If Deer Valley advances, it will face the Wolves in the quarterfinals.
The 4A and 5A State Tournament begins Tuesday, and all matches start at 7 p.m.
No. 15 RED MESA or No. 18 BENSON vs. No. 2 NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN
At Tim’s Toyota Center, Prescott, 10 a.m.
Northwest Christian (20-5, 6-0 in Central Region) were undefeated in the regular season, with their only losses coming in tournaments against Horizon (twice), Xavier, La Jolla (Calif.) and Ralston Valley (Col.).
The Crusaders want a piece of redemption after falling to Thatcher in last year’s 2A finals. But to reach No. 1-seedThatcher again, they will likely have to face No. 3 Phoenix Country Day and No. 7 Scottsdale Christian.