05/16 - Lions charge to Final Four - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

05/16 - Lions charge to Final Four

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Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2003 11:47 pm | Updated: 1:03 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Red Mountain's Kyle Trepp (15) blocks a shot by Desert Vista's Billy Erickson on Thursday in their state tournament game.

The Red Mountain volleyball players have been waiting a while to do the chant.

It finally came shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday night.

"Final What? Final Four! Final What? Final Four!" came the yell after a 15-8, 15-9 victory over Desert Vista in the state quarterfinals. The victory set up a meeting with Tucson Canyon del Oro at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hamilton High — the Mountain Lions' first appearance on the season's final day. The state championship match follows at 3 p.m.

"We have to see if a tough team can play our game," said a confident Cody Sunderhaus. "If we play the way we've been playing throughout this tournament, I think we can take it."

It was Sunderhaus who paved the way Thursday with nine kills, three digs, two blocks and an ace from his middle-hitter position. Desert Vista didn't seem to have an answer for him.

"Our No. 1 middle blocker was just released from the hospital this (Thursday) afternoon," Thunder coach Rachael Stone said, pointing at Justin Fairrington, who was in street clothes. "So that kind of hurt us."

Fairrington had his appendix removed two weeks ago but complications put him back in a hospital until Thursday.

"That really hurt us."

But confidence may have been the difference.

"The confidence on the court is something I've never seen before," said Red Mountain coach Jayne Radu. "It's awesome. That's definitely one of the reasons why they are doing so well."

"They outplayed us," Stone said. "But the biggest part of our problem tonight was mentally and emotionally. We played tentatively. We lacked confidence and it came across."

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]