Corona del Sol beat No. 18 Mountain View 25-21, 25-20, 25-22 on the first day of the Division I boys volleyball state tournament on Saturday.
The Aztecs will host No. 10 Highland on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
The Toros were playing in their second game of the day as earlier Saturday Mountain View beat Vail Cienega 25-7, 25-15, 25-22. The Toros controlled that match from the start but knew they were up against a much bigger challenge in the No.2-seeded Aztecs (18-0) in the second round.
“We were playing against a great team (Saturday afternoon), and when you play against a great team like that you kinda have to have everything go your way.” Mountain View coach Stacie Powell said.
Every game was close up until the very end, as in all three games, Corona found a way to finish strong and pull out the victory.
“I was happy with the way we were able to finish each game," Corona coach Brynne Evans said. "It has been the tendency of our team this year to start out low key in the beginning, but we seem to always get to a point when we realize we have to finish and we have to step up.”
With the Toros and Aztecs trying to save their respective seasons in the single elimination tournament, neither team led by more than two points in game three until late. After a 17-17 tie the Aztecs took a 20-17 lead. As Corona had done in the previous two games never let their late lead slip away.
A fittingly tight finish given that Corona and Mountain View saw each other a few times this season, both during regular season and tournament matches. And Corona knew Mountain View would be its likely second-round opponent from the start.
"This was a strong match and the boys had the right state of mind going into the game today,” Evans said.
Alex Davis led Corona with 10 kills, Charlie Hualde added 11 digs and Jake Nuneviller contributed six blocks and two assists.
Zach Steiner led the Toros with 11 digs; Mark Soelberg added 8 kills and four blocks and Trevor Paterson finished with six kills.
Mountain View finished the season at 13-6, not including tournaments.
“Both teams played hard and competed, we just had a couple points that didn’t go our way and sometimes that’s how it goes," Powell said. "We got so much better as the season progressed.”