SUNSET REGION VOLLEYBALL: Bengals hold off Shadow Ridge


Bonanza's Craig Whiting was in the zone Friday.

Even when Shadow Ridge rallied from a two-set deficit in the Sunset Region boys volleyball final, the senior setter kept his composure and continued to feed his hitters. And came up with the best match of his career.

Whiting compiled 63 assists, and Price Jarman supplied 27 kills, 13 digs and five blocks to help the Bengals hold off the Mustangs, 25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 26-28, 15-8 at Las Vegas High.

"I guess I just wasn't nervous today," said Whiting, who set a personal record for assists in a match. "I was a lot more focused than (Thursday against Palo Verde). I just came out, relaxed and played my game."

Bonanza (21-0) will face Sunrise Region runner-up Silverado at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Las Vegas in the Class 4A state semifinals.

The Bengals ended the first set on a 7-2 run, then got a combined 12 kills from Jarman and Cru Leavitt in the second to take the early lead. Leavitt finished with 18 kills for Bonanza.

But Shadow Ridge (15-6) hung tough. Collin Johnson posted two critical blocks and Brandon Fisher had four of his team-high 19 kills as the Mustangs won the third set. In the fourth, a Bonanza hitting error allowed Justin Kent to hammer consecutive kills for a 28-26 victory.

Then the Bengals showed why they feel so comfortable in a fifth set.

"I say, 'Why win in three when you can win in five?' Whenever we go to five, our team is more comfortable with each other," Whiting said. "We all know how to play with each other. We know we can come out in that fifth set, and pull it together and win."

Bonanza opened the fifth on an 8-1 run powered by two kills by Leavitt and two blocks by Parker Evans, who finished with 12 kills, 12 digs and five blocks.

"It's a credit to our guys that we don't quit," Bonanza coach Joe Cap said. "We've been there before; it's a little nerve-wracking to get in those situations, but you know that in the end, the guys will have what it takes to get through."

Jared Hyer had 11 kills and 15 digs off the bench for Bonanza, which got 29 digs from Kenny DeSoto.

Kent had 11 kills and 30 digs for the Mustangs, who will play Sunrise champion Coronado at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Las Vegas. Shadow Ridges got five blocks from Johnson and 40 digs from Cody Tesoro. Braden Taylor added 26 assists.

 

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