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5A boys volleyball state title race ‘a toss-up’ with playoffs near

Two weeks remain in the regular season for high school boys volleyball, and the race for the Class 5A state title is as wide open as it’s been in recent years.

“Any given night, there are no teams you can look past, which is fun,” Palo Verde coach Phil Clarke said.

Palo Verde (23-3) and Coronado (19-4) are tied atop the Mountain League with a 6-1 record. The teams split their regular-season meetings, with Coronado winning in four sets in the most recent meeting Wednesday. The Panthers entered last week No. 1 in the Review-Journal’s Class 5A rankings, and Coronado was No. 2.

“It’s one of those years where it’s a toss-up,” Clarke said. “There’s a big number of teams that can beat anyone on any given night, especially our division, we’re all over the place.”

Palo Verde plays at third-place Arbor View (25-7, 4-3), another state title contender, on Tuesday night in the top game of the week. Arbor View defeated Palo Verde at a tournament in March but lost the first league meeting to the Panthers on April 2.

“Anyone can beat anyone,” Clarke said.

The race in the 5A Desert League is already over, with Green Valley (25-7, 6-0) already locking up the league title.

Green Valley has two league games left and holds a two-game lead over second-place Shadow Ridge (14-8, 4-2), the two-time defending 5A state champion. The Gators hold the tiebreaker over the Mustangs by winning both regular-season meetings.

“We saw Green Valley a few weeks ago, and they kicked our butts,” Clarke said. “They’re solid, they play really well, not a lot of mistakes. To be at this point and locked up their division, that’s showing something because you have Shadow Ridge, the two-time defending champs, and Centennial is tough.”

Many 5A teams have already seen one another through various tournaments, along with league games. Green Valley defeated Palo Verde in a tournament March 30, and Arbor View defeated Green Valley in a tournament March 1.

“It’s going to be very competitive,” Clarke said. “The team that’s clicking for that week and a half, a whole number of teams can take it.”

In 4A, Bishop Gorman, No. 1 in the RJ’s 4A rankings, has a one-game lead atop the Sky League over No. 3 Basic. The teams play May 1 in the regular-season finale.

No. 2 Mojave is undefeated (10-0) in the Desert League and has already locked up the league title.

Reigning 3A champion Boulder City has clinched the 3A Mountain League title. Virgin Valley and Valley are tied atop the Desert League with an 11-1 league record. The teams split their two regular-season meetings.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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