After No. 10 seeded Highland knocked off No. 23 Tucson in four games, 23-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-10, to open the Division I boys volleyball state tournament, the Hawks claimed a three-game upset in the second round over host and No. 7 seed Tucson Catalina Foothills, 25-17, 25-16, 25-22 on Saturday afternoon.
Facing a much bigger team in the Falcons than the Badger team that gave the Hawks problems in their first game of the day, Highland was up to the challenge and played a much more fundamentally-sound match.
The Hawks’ Ryan Morrison (nine kills, four blocks) and Issac Turley (seven kills, two blocks) and Jacob Wright (eight kills) took it to the Catalina frontline with a combined 24 kills and six blocks.
In the first game, Highland came out sluggish to start, but after narrowly losing the first game, the Hawks pulled it together and took the next three games convincingly.
Bryce Farbee led Highland in the first game with three aces, five kills and 30 assists.
The Hawks advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament but must travel again on Tuesday, but this time to No. 2 Corona del Sol. The match will start at 7 p.m.
No. 5 Gilbert dispatched No. 12 Pueblo in three games, 25-17, 25-17, 25-12, to advance to the quarterfinals.
Playing with high energy and looking sharp on defense, the Tigers used a team effort to get the win. Ty Hutchins (nine kills), Spencer Wright (eight kills) and Travis Cole (six kills) carried the load on offense.
Gilbert’s next opponent will be No. 4 Glendale Deer Valley, who will have home-court advantage when the schools meet Tuesday at 7 p.m.