When he’s not playing the sport as a member of the U.S. Air Force team, Stewart Sherman volunteers his time as an assistant coach for the Shadow Ridge boys volleyball team.
On Friday night, Sherman’s teammates came to town to watch the Mustangs face Legacy in the finals of the Sunset Region tournament.
But it was the Longhorns that provided the majority of the ammunition, as Legacy rolled to a 25-18, 25-20, 20-25, 25-15 victory and its first region title. Both teams still qualify for next week’s Division I state tournament.
Legacy (26-3) will host Valley (18-8) at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, and Sunrise Region champ Las Vegas (20-5) faces Shadow Ridge (13-6) at 7 p.m.
“What a feeling to grab the title,” Legacy coach Ray Lewis said. “It’s great to get some hardware for the trophy case. Still, we have more to tend to, and we will not overlook anyone.”
Shadow Ridge and Legacy could potentially meet again in the state final. Still, both teams understand there’s plenty of business left on the docket.
For Shadow Ridge, the four-set loss was a continuation of a learning process for such a young team.
“We continue to learn, continue to get better,” Mustangs head coach Travis Underwood said. “Hey, we are one of four teams still playing volleyball, and that’s an accomplishment. We will learn from this match and take it to state.”
Lewis conceded that his team might have come out a bit nervous following the Sunrise Region final between Valley and Las Vegas, which lasted more than two hours and went five sets.
“Seeing a match like that psyches you out at times,” Lewis said. “Once we got the jitters out, we were fine.”
Legacy got the bugs out quickly, leading by as many as eight points in the opening set. In the second set, the Longhorns benefited from the work of the Tanner Compton and Trent Compton to take a 2-0 lead.
Shadow Ridge grabbed the third set after getting solid middle play from Quinn Peterson and A.J. Makaiwi.
In the decisive set, Legacy rolled to an 11-6 lead and never looked back before making history.
“Our program is moving in the right direction,” Lewis said. “Now we go back to work and get ready for state.”
Tanner Compton had 23 kills for Legacy. Trent Compton added 12 kills and nine digs, and Braden Liu dished out 51 assists for the Longhorns.
A.J. Makaiwi led the Mustangs with 14 digs, and Nathan Makaiwi added 13 digs and 30 assists. Peterson contributed 13 digs and 19 kills for Shadow Ridge.