During the regular season, Shadow Ridge’s boys volleyball team was swept by its closest Northwest Division rivals — Palo Verde and Arbor View. But it was a season-ending loss to first-place Palo Verde that instilled belief into the Mustangs, just in time for the postseason.
Shadow Ridge coach Travis Underwood said it was last week’s five-set loss to the Panthers that triggered a four-set win over Bonanza in the quarterfinals of the Division I Sunset Region tournament on Tuesday at Legacy.
“That was the turning point for us,” Underwood said. “Defensively we knew that’s where things are going to start, if we can take care of the ball, put the ball on their side and let them make mistakes.”
The Mustangs, seeded third out of the Northwest League, defeated Southwest No. 2 seed Bonanza, 25-14, 21-25, 25-21, 25-20. Shadow Ridge (12-5) will meet top-seeded Palo Verde (27-7) at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Las Vegas High in a semifinal. The Panthers won the previous two meetings this season.
Shadow Ridge’s Quinn Peterson finished with 30 kills, but it was the junior’s mere presence that sparked the Mustangs. During the first set, Peterson culminated a 16-4 run with eight straight service points to help Shadow Ridge go up 1-0.
With Bonanza hanging around in the third set, the 6-foot, 4-inch outside hitter sent the crowd into a frenzy with a monster spike, following teammate Carter Johnson’s diving save. After the Bengals closed the gap to 24-21, it was no surprise Peterson shut the rally down with a kill to end the third set.
“That’s what we’re taught in the program, is to step up and play volleyball when you need to,” Peterson said.
The fourth set was a balanced effort, as the Mustangs erased an early 8-3 lead, pulled ahead 13-12 and kept the Bengals at arm’s length the rest of the way en route to the victory.
“We knew that they were going to be a team that wasn’t going to give up,” Underwood said. “They kind of pushed us a little bit. They are a very smart team. That side of the division is a difficult division to have to work through as well.”
A.J. Makaiwi finished with 45 assists and 45 digs, while Johnson had 21 digs and eight kills.
Kellen Layne led Bonanza with 13 kills and 10 digs. Andrew Jensen (12 kills, 11 digs) and Josh Lee (34 assists, six digs) also had strong matches for the Bengals (12-8).
Palo Verde 3, Bishop Gorman 1 — Andrew Weston had 41 assists, and Brigham Clawson added 15 kills to power the Panthers past the Gaels, 25-12, 25-12, 26-24, 25-17.
Ryan Nielson added 13 digs, and Greg Kinney had 12 kills for the Panthers.
Chris Shea led the Gaels (5-13) with 18 kills and three aces, and teammate Tony Pitaro contributed 12 kills.
Legacy 3, Sierra Vista 0 — The Longhorns rode the play of Tanner Compton and Braden Liu to defeat Northwest No. 4 seed Sierra Vista, 25-19, 25-11, 25-16.
Compton had 11 kills, five blocks and six digs, while Liu recorded 34 assists, four digs and two aces for the Longhorns. Jonah Tarlton (six digs, five blocks) and Zaire Franklin (10 kills, three digs) also contributed for Legacy.
Julius Sison had 17 assists, and teammate Clyde Balagtas had nine kills for the Mountain Lions (5-13).
Legacy (24-3) faces Arbor View (21-5) at 3:40 p.m. on Thursday at Las Vegas High.
Arbor View 3, Centennial 0 — The Aggies defeated Centennial 25-15, 25-17, 25-20 to move into the semifinals.
Arbor View’s Darrell Swanson overpowered the Bulldogs at the net and with his serve. Aided by a 36-inch vertical, Swanson led the Aggies with 12 kills, eight digs and three service aces. Chris Heron dished out 33 assists, and Peter Peck had 15 digs for Arbor View.
Tanner Durkin’s eight kills led the Bulldogs (10-14).