October 24, 2004
After more than seven hours, three matches, seven games and 172 points, Desert Vista truly earned its 5A Central Region championship Saturday.
Desert Vista, the region’s No. 2 seed, defeated host and top seed Corona del Sol 22-25, 25-22, 25-22 in the title match and earned the region’s top seed and a bye in the state tournament.
Corona and Mountain Pointe also advanced to the state tournament.
"We deserved it," Desert Vista coach Molly West said. "The girls really wanted it. They played with a lot of heart."
In getting to the finals, Desert Vista defeated Yuma 25-8, 25-15 in a 10 a.m. match.
In the 2 p.m. semifinal, the Thunder defeated Mountain Pointe 25-6, 25-17.
At 5 p.m., the Thunder took the court at Sammy Duane Gymnasium with the region title on the line.
Throughout the first game, neither the Thunder nor the Aztecs could establish momentum. The game featured five ties and five lead changes before Corona took control. After taking a 14-13 lead, Corona went up by as many as five points.
Michelle Hein’s kill closed out the game for the Aztecs.
The second game also had both teams battling to take control of the match. By the time the Thunder took a 9-8 lead, the game had six ties and six lead changes.
Desert Vista held the lead until Corona’s Kellie Phillips’ service ace tied the score at 22-22.
The Thunder scored the next three points and closed out the game on Kalei Nance’s block.
"We lost our focus a little bit and got a little timid," Corona coach Jann Corbett said. "It definitely showed in our faces."
In the third game, Corona took an early 6-5 lead. The Thunder quickly rebounded and never trailed again.
With a small, but vociferous fan base at full volume, Desert Vista closed out the match on Kelsey Thomsen’s kill.
"(After hitting the ball) I was getting ready for it to come back like the first one did," Thomsen said. "The second one went down."
Thomsen led the Thunder in kills with nine. She also had seven blocks.
Desert Vista’s Leah Lathrop contributed five kills, 30 assists and 14 digs. Rachel Jensen had eight kills and 11 digs.
Sophomore Michelle Hein led Corona with 12 kills and 13 digs.
Phillips had 11 kills and nine digs. Joy Peschmann contributed 36 assists and 10 digs.
The Thunder’s next match is Nov. 2 at home against the winner of the match between the Fiesta Region’s No. 3 team and Northwest Region’s No. 2 team.
"My team is playing really, really well right now," West said. "We’re starting to peak. Everything’s clicking, and they’re very comfortable with each other."
Corona hosts the Desert Valley Region’s No. 3 team on Nov. 1.
"We’ll be fine," Corbett said. "We have a whole week to practice and get all of our kinks out."
Mountain Pointe visits the Desert Valley’s No. 2 seed Nov. 2.
The Apache Junction boys team won the 4A East Sky Region tournament for the first time in school history Friday with a two-day total of 592 at Apache Creek Golf Course. Chaparral’s Zack Baker took top individual honors by winning on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff against Apache Junction’s Ryan DeBois after the golfers finished the tournament tied at 145.
The Prospectors’ Billy Pritchard was one stroke back in third place. Arcadia (600) took second, followed by Chaparral (601) to join Apache Junction in the state tournament.