First-year coach Erik Davis figured it would be difficult to turn around the Mojave boys volleyball program, inheriting a team that had a combined 1-31 record the previous two seasons.
But the Rattlers are making it look easy.
In the Division I-A state quarterfinals Monday at Chaparral, Jovan Carrazco had 30 assists, and Matt Albinio and Christian Limtiaco each supplied 10 kills to lead Mojave past Sunrise Mountain, 25-14, 25-12, 25-14.
The Rattlers (15-7), who are in the postseason for the first time since 2004, will face host Chaparral (8-3) in a semifinal at 2 p.m. today.
“For me, it was what I looked forward to the most coming to Mojave,” Davis said. “To take a school that was considered one of the worst volleyball schools in the city and now have them as a No.1 seed and competing for a state championship, it’s an unbelievable feeling for me and for them.”
Powered by a dominant front-row performance by Albinio and Limtiaco, Mojave used a 7-4 run to close out the first set.
Limtiaco went on to register five kills in the third set.
Jordan Briggs had three kills and four blocks for Sunrise Mountain (1-13), which was in its first playoff match.
■ Chaparral 3, Western 1 — Pierce Morgan had 30 assists, four kills, four blocks and four aces to help the Cowboys repel the Warriors, 25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 26-24.
After Chaparral breezed in the first two sets, Western (4-13) used a 6-0 run at the end of the third to grab the set. The Warriors’ Vadell Wilson, who finished with 19 assists and seven blocks, had three of his 13 kills during the spurt.
The lead changed hands seven times in the fourth set, before Josiah Wagge’s kill and Meldrick Nava’s match-point ace capped the victory.
“It’s always nice to win the first (match), but we only care about the next one,” Chaparral coach Jay Renneker said.
Dominic Carr had 10 kills and three blocks for the Cowboys, who got nine kills from Matt Sanger.
■ Clark 3, Desert Pines 0 — Jerhemy Babers supplied five kills and six blocks as the Chargers swept the Jaguars, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18.
Walt Benda added nine kills and three aces for the Chargers (5-11), who play Tech in the semifinals at 5:20 p.m. today.
Joel Perez led Desert Pines (6-14) with five blocks, and Bryan Garcia added three kills and three blocks.
■ Tech 3, Cheyenne 0 — Joshua Wood provided 31 assists, four kills and six aces to help power the Roadrunners past the Desert Shields, 25-19, 29-27, 25-17.
After wasting a 7-2 lead in the third set, Tech (16-1) rallied from a five-point deficit to regain control.
Tyler Gardenhire had 14 kills for the Roadrunners, and Omar Mena and Bryan Catenza each added seven kills.
Darius Gantt led Cheyenne (4-15) with eight kills.
Contact reporter John W. Scafetta at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0430.
DIVISION I STATE SEMIS TODAY
In the Division I boys volleyball state tournament, Palo Verde (19-3) will face Foothill (30-11) in the first semifinal at 3:40 p.m. today at Chaparral.
The Panthers, coming off their first region title since 2009, beat Centennial in three sets in the Sunset Region final Friday. The Falcons are making their first state tournament appearance.
No. 2 seed Centennial (17-3) meets Coronado (24-4) at 7 p.m. in the other semifinal. The Cougars, who won last year’s state championship, swept Foothill in the Sunrise Region title match Friday.