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Gorman claims 5A girls volleyball region title over Coronado

Bishop Gorman girls volleyball coach Gregg Nunley rarely takes timeouts during matches.

Through the Gaels’ challenging out-of-state schedule and the way he runs practice, he said his team is so used to battling through any adversity it faces during a match.

Gorman, the No. 1 seed from the Desert League, dropped the first set to No. 1 Mountain League seed Coronado, but the Gaels swept the next three for a 23-25, 25-12, 25-22, 25-17 win in the Class 5A Southern Region title game Saturday at Gorman.

The Gaels (32-5) will be the No. 1 seed at the state tournament and will play Reno High, the North’s No. 2 seed, in a state semifinal at either 5:15 or 7 p.m. Friday at Sunrise Mountain. Coronado (22-8) will play Northern champion Spanish Springs in the other semifinal.

“I think a lot of people think with our talent we just throw out balls and the kids just play, but there’s so much more to that, there’s so much training,” Nunley said. “We hardly ever just play volleyball. We grind it out day in and day out, and they’re starting to reap the benefits of all their hard work. We’re just super proud of them.”

Ayanna Watson had 24 kills, 12 digs and three aces, and Leilia Toailoa, an Alabama commit, added 21 kills, 13 digs and four aces to lead Gorman. Tatum Thompson finished with 24 digs, and Trinity Thompson added 52 assists for the Gaels.

Coronado swept Gorman in three sets in last year’s region title game. The Gaels lost their state semifinal in five sets to Reno High, while the Cougars won the state title.

“It feels really great,” Watson said. “We didn’t get this opportunity last year, so it was great to come back and show who we are. I was hurt last year during this time. So it really motivated me to try to stay healthy so I could help my team.”

Several errors early in the first set put Gorman behind as Coronado held off a late charge from the Gaels to win the first set.

“Normally when we’re down like that, it’s because we’re in our own heads,” Watson said. “We just really needed to mentally push through it and help the people around us.”

Gorman closed out a second-set win with a 13-3 run as Watson and Toailoa helped the Gaels take control of the match.

Watson finished off the Gaels’ third-set win with a kill on match point and scored their last three points of the fourth set, all via kills.

“If there’s a coach in America that says they wouldn’t want (Watson) on their team, then that would be a lie,” Nunley said. “She’s a blue-chip prospect. Not only is she a great athlete, but she’s also a really great young woman. She shows it in big moments.”

Julie Beckham had 18 kills and seven digs for Coronado, and Gentry Oblad added 14 kills and 12 digs.

Class 3A

— No. 1M The Meadows 3, No. 2M Boulder City 1: At The Meadows, the Mustangs defeated the Eagles 25-18, 25-23, 19-25, 25-17 to win the Southern Region title. The Meadows (24-3) will be the South’s No. 1 seed at the state tournament, which begins Friday at UNR’s Virginia City Gym.

The Mustangs will play South Tahoe, the North’s No. 2 seed in a state semifinal. Boulder City, the South’s No. 2 seed, will play Northern champion and top-seeded Elko in the other semifinal.

Class 2A

Play was suspended due to a power outage at the 2A Southern League title game between GV Christian and Lake Mead at GV Christian. The match was tied 1-1 after two sets. Play will resume at 6 p.m. Monday.

Class 1A

No. 1 Pahranagat Valley 3, No. 2 Liberty Baptist 0: At Pahranagat Valley, the Panthers (15-4) rolled to a 25-11, 25-18, 25-14 victory over the Knights (15-7) in the Southern League title game.

Both teams advance to the state tournament, which will begin Thursday at North Valleys with state quarterfinal action.

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

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