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Cougars stun Shadow Ridge in semis

There was no secret about where the final set was going.

But even though everyone in the gym knew that Coronado was going to try to set up outside hitter Austin Moiseyev, Shadow Ridge still could do nothing to stop him.

Moiseyev pounded a kill off the Shadow Ridge block to complete a 25-22, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23 upset of the previously undefeated Mustangs in the boys state volleyball semifinals Tuesday at Chaparral.

“I was just like, ‘I know I’m going to kill this,’ ” Moiseyev said. “Confidence, and it was a good set by my setter.”

The final kill was Moiseyev’s 10th in the final set and 21st in the match.

“I told (setter) Connor (Stephenson) in our last timeout that he knew where to go,” Coronado coach Matt Johnson said. “That Austin’s been hot for us tonight, and we weren’t going to try to be tricky. And even if Shadow Ridge knew exactly what we were going to do, we were going to go with it, and Austin came through at the end.”

The Cougars (17-5) will play Silverado (20-2) in the state title match at 6 tonight at Chaparral. It will be a rematch of the Sunrise Region title match, which Silverado won 3-0.

With the fourth set tied at 21, the Cougars got a kill from Brandon Dau, and then Moiseyev recorded kills for the final three Coronado points.

Dau also had a big final set, with four kills and a block down the stretch. He finished with 17 kills and three blocks.

The Cougars came out strong early and played much cleaner than the Mustangs. Coronado had just one service error in each of the first two sets and finished with seven. Shadow Ridge (21-1) had nine service errors in the first two sets.

“Serving and passing is the most important part of our game,” Moiseyev said. “If we get those in, we’re unstoppable.”

Stephenson finished with 45 assists, and Tyler Cucullu had nine kills and two blocks for Coronado.

Tanner Maxwell and Brandon Fisher each had 17 kills for Shadow Ridge.

It will be the fourth meeting this season between Silverado and Coronado. Silverado has won all three, winning both regular-season matches 3-2.

“I think it’s going to be a good game,” Moiseyev said. “I actually can’t wait to play them.”

■ Silverado 3, Palo Verde 1 – The Skyhawks rallied to top the Panthers, 16-25, 26-24, 25-22, 28-26.

“It was just all the nerves that came out in the first game,” Silverado coach Kevin Schwallie said. “After that we kind of made some adjustments that we needed to make. Once we settled down, we made the plays that we usually can make.”

Kyle Divicino had 15 of his 18 kills in the final three sets to pace the Skyhawks. He had five kills in the fourth set and finished the match with a kill and a block for the final two points.

“Kyle is always a big hitter,” Schwallie said. “He’s been our go-to guy all year long. He’s been a big hitter, but honestly it’s our defense and our serve and pass that’s gotten us here.”

Curtis Hadland added 14 kills, Hunter Witt had seven kills and two blocks, and Dakota Relle had 36 assists and two aces for the Skyhawks.

Trent Gneiting led Palo Verde (15-5) with 23 kills. Jordyn Martin added 12 kills and two blocks for the Panthers, who got 32 assists from Andrew Weston.

Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at dseiters@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4587.

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