Updated May 19, 2022 - 2:11 pm
Shadow Ridge led by a set before Green Valley built a big lead in the second set of Wednesday’s Class 5A boys state volleyball championship match.
The Mustangs rallied to tie the score at 24 and held off six Green Valley set points before the Gators finally prevailed to even the match.
It would have been easy for Shadow Ridge to hang its head, but it responded. The Mustangs took over in the middle part of the third set and went on a 6-2 run early in the fourth to take control for a 25-14, 28-30, 25-20, 25-17 victory before their home crowd.
“These guys have confidence no matter what the score shows,” Shadow Ridge coach Luke Wilson said. “They showed it tonight. They’re a resilient group, and they pushed back and were not even fazed a little bit. We knew we had to win that next one. That comeback was nice, but we really pushed through, and that perseverance showed.”
Desert Oasis won the Class 4A championship over Del Sol, 18-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-22. Boulder City swept Clark 25-22, 25-23, 25-15 for the 3A crown.
Shadow Ridge had four players in double figures in kills, with setter Noah Burrus often having his option of where to go with the ball on his way to 52 assists.
Trevor Prince had 16 kills and 10 digs, Tyler Kirk added 15 kills and five blocks, and Brady Beko and Rider Fernandez finished with 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
“We worked all season to make sure we get everybody involved, from both pins to our middles,” Wilson said. “We did a great job of that tonight, and our setter Noah did an awesome job of dispersing the ball and keeping everybody involved.”
It’s the third state championship for Shadow Ridge but first since 2010.
After Kirk hammered down the final kill, the fans on the Shadow Ridge side rushed the floor in celebration. It was the culmination of a season in which Wilson said the fan support started at a high level and the frenzy only built as it went along.
“The players have done great getting their friends out, putting it in on social media and really getting these guys invigorated through the entire season,” Wilson said. “This crowd deserved it, and the players deserved it. They put in the work.”
Green Valley countered with a dynamic performance from Aric Olsen, who finished with 35 kills and eight digs and at times almost single-handedly kept the Gators in the match. Setter Aiden Olsen finished with 42 assists and 15 digs.
“Aric is impossible to stop. You just hope you can slow him down,” Wilson said. “When push comes to shove, he’s going to get his points. We just said we’re going to make it tough on him and do everything we can.”