May 12, 2011 - 1:05 pm
Jordan Royal wasn’t necessarily the best passer, hitter or blocker on Silverado’s boys volleyball team Thursday at Las Vegas High.
But when the Skyhawks gravely needed a point, the 6-foot-2-inch opposite hitter stepped up.
Royal had five kills, five assists, four digs, two blocks and an ace to lift Silverado past the host Wildcats, 25-15, 25-16, 26-24 in a Sunrise Region semifinal win that clinched a spot in next week’s Class 4A state tournament.
Silverado (18-2) will face Southeast League rival Coronado (17-3) in the region final at 5 p.m. Friday at Las Vegas High.
“This is one of the greatest feelings ever,” Royal said of clinching a state berth. “I’ve wanted this since even before I started playing my freshman year. I’ve always wanted to be here. And now that I’m here, I feel like we really accomplished something for our school.”
Kyle Divicino had eight kills and six digs, and Brian Theophil added seven kills and six digs to lead the Skyhawks, who breezed to a two-set advantage.
But Las Vegas (18-2) started strong in the third, charging to a 9-5 lead after a kill by Ronnie Adams, who finished with four blocks and three kills.
The final set featured 12 ties and three lead changes.
After an ace by Jacob Bevell gave Las Vegas a 24-21 lead, Royal put down a thunderous kill and later added a block to pace the Skyhawks to a 5-0 tear that ended the match.
“I knew that we needed a kill,” Royal said. “Our passers did a really good job on the last pass, and the set was great.
“Once I got that last kill, I knew that helped set the momentum and we were able to get a team connection. Our libero was having a great night. Our setter was amazing. After that, we connected as a team again and … finished the match.”
Indigo Varela had 20 assists and six digs for Silverado, which led for most of the first two sets but fell behind quickly in the third.
Royal did whatever he could to push his team further, even moving to the front row and setting a few balls for the outside hitters when setter Varela was occupied in the back.
“It helps my teammates,” Royal said. “We all want to make good plays, and if one player starts to make good plays, then that makes the others start to make good plays. I try to follow, and then sometimes lead by example.”
Luke Hansen had 17 assists, five kills and three blocks for Las Vegas. Jimichael Baker added seven kills, and Jace Turner had five kills for the Wildcats.
Coronado 3, Green Valley 0 — Chris Andrulis had 26 kills and 13 digs to help the Cougars eliminate the Gators, 25-21, 25-19, 25-17.
Byrin Romney dished out 39 assists for Coronado, which only trailed twice in the match.
Jahren Makanoa supplied 11 digs, seven kills and two aces for the Cougars, and teammate Brandon Dau had 17 digs and three kills.
Beau Gronert led Green Valley (13-7) with 13 kills, five digs and two blocks, and Nick Hevrin added 24 assists.
Dimitri Santos supplied six kills for the Gators, who got 15 digs from Michael Martinez.