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Photo by Jeff Edgington

Molly West has been there since day one as the varsity girls volleyball coach at Desert Vista High School.

Since the school opened its doors in 1996 they've had that constant leader, and in a fast-paced sport, where there are changes aplenty, that has helped the program remain steady on the backside of South Mountain.

After competing in a grueling 6A central region, the Thunder enter the 2017 Playoffs with a .500 record overall after sweeping No. 17-ranked Chandler High: 25-14, 25-23, and 25-22, Thursday night in Ahwatukee.

They rolled to an insurmountable first set advantage 18-7 and held off rallies in the second and third frames from the Wolves to ultimately take the victory and secure a spot in the 6A State Tournament.

Lauren Weintraub and Danielle Seddon kept the Wolves in it, as they gave the Wolves a 4-0 start to the final set. But, the host had an answer each time.

What's most impressive is how this Desert Vista squad has done it in 2017.

A young team with two freshmen and eight sophomores are keeping the Thunder in the mix. But it was senior Abigail Hansen who made quick work of the Wolves and Coach West was pleased, but knows what is ahead on Halloween.

"I'm happy for our Seniors,” West said. “They deserve a home playoff win. We always love playing Xavier. Our girls get excited for better competition."

No. 16 Desert Vista (20-19) will draw the Gators if they get the No. 16 seed come Saturday afternoon when the brackets are released. The first round is Tuesday October 31 at 6:30.

"Each group is different. They keep me young," added West with a grin. 

Her youthful squad will probably have to have the match of their careers in order to keep the season alive. But it's high school volleyball and anything is possible.

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