GLENDALE - The Mountain Pointe boys volleyball team was eliminated from the Division I volleyball state playoffs in straight sets by fourth-seed Sandra Day O'Connor Eagles on Saturday.
The 20th-seeded Pride knocked off 13th-seeded Rincon Rangers of Tucson in four sets earlier in the day to advance to the second round in the 24-team tournament.
Mountain Pointe senior Christian Cava said it was good to see the whole team play well in that game, where the Pride rotated a lot of its starters out to allow them to rest for the second match.
Against the Eagles though, they couldn’t gain any momentum. In each set when Sandra Day O’Connor built a lead of two or three points, Mountain Pointe couldn’t recover.
“We’re a team that if we get up, we stay up and we’ll win the game. But if we get down we end up losing,” Cava said.
The Pride and Eagles met once during the regular season. Mountain Pointe was able to steal the first set but lost the next three. This time around Sandra Day O’Connor was dominant throughout. Sandra Day O’Connor will face Hamilton on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at home.
“They we’re able to serve tough on us and we didn’t pass as well as we normally do,” Mountain Pointe head coach Brian Steiner said.
Pride senior Christian Soerensen said there were net errors committed the team didn’t need to take, but they were still able to execute the game plan.
“The strategy going in was just to through up blocks and play a lot of defense and we got a few blocks in there,” Soerensen said.
Mountain Pointe fought hard the whole way through, losing each set by less of a margin than the previous one.
Steiner said as long as the returning players compete in club volleyball during the offseason, they’d have no problem competing once the regular season starts.
Both Cava and Soerensen intend to play in college for Grand Canyon and Northern Arizona Universities, respectively. But Cava said in the meantime, he was going to take a break and focus on his band and music.
Also on Saturday, 16th seed Desert Vista was eliminated by 17th seed Desert Ridge in straight sets.
Argeros is a junior journalism major at Arizona State.
VS Rincon Rangers
Set 1: 25-21 (W)
Set 2: 25-18 (W)
Set 3: 29-31 (L)
Set 4: 25-21 (W)
VS Sandra Day O’Connor Eagles
Set 1: 16-25 (L)
Set 2: 19-25 (L)
Set 3: 20-25 (L)