The postseason has begun in girls volleyball. In a new format implemented this year, teams ranked 9-24 in 5A and 6A were required to participate in conference play-in games, with the winners being placed into the full 16-team, single elimination brackets. 

In years past lower ranked teams played at the home location of the top-eight seeds, with the winner playing two games in one-day. 

The new format had teams playing last Thursday, then waiting until Sunday to see where they would play in the full bracket. 

Mountain View hosted Williams field and swept 3-0 and are slated to play at No. 2 Sahuaro on Wednesday night. The game at Sahuaro High School is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. 

The Mountain Lions were 0-2 against the Cougars this season, but took them to five sets in their last meeting on Oct. 25.

Marana also qualified for the conference play-in game but fell 3-0 to Queen Creek. The Bulldogs were in control from the start. They opened up the match with a 25-15 first set win, then took the final two sets 25-15 and 25-11.

The Tigers conclude the season with a 21-12 record and made their first postseason appearance over a decade and their first winning record since 2007.

Ironwood Ridge earned the No. 4 seed in the playoffs and will host No. 13 Desert Edge who swept Buena. The two teams have not met this season, but the Scorpions come into the game having won seven of their last eight games. 

If the Nighthawks win they would host the winner of the Mesquite/Verrado game on Saturday night. 

Canyon Del Oro will host their first round playoff game on Wednesday night in the 4A State playoffs. The No. 8 Dorados will welcome No. 9 Saguaro to Oro Valley. Both teams boast 13-4 regular season records, though the Dorados come in having won the 4A Kino Region thanks to a tiebreaker over Salpointe. Both teams were 7-1 in region play, but the Dorados had more 

wins against other 4A opponents. 

Despite going 11-7 in the regular season, Pusch Ridge just missed out on the playoffs. The Lions finished the season ranked 18th in 3A and the top-16 made the playoffs. 

 

Golf

Two area teams qualified for the Division II boys golf championships that began on Monday. Canyon Del Oro and Ironwood Ridge  both sent their full teams to event at Randolph North Golf Course. 

CDO’s Jonathan Walters is ranked 13th in the state, the highest rated area player. His teammates Jack Picton and Trevor Gregoire are ranked 18th and 21st. 

Nate Benjamin is he highest rated Ironwood Ridge golfer at No. 44.

Mountain View’s Kyle Stachel and Max Robles qualified as individuals. Stachel is the No. 43 player in the state. 

On the girls side only Ironwood Ridge qualified as a team. The Nighthawks are led by No. 16 Allison Acosta and No. 28 Aspen Thies. 

Three area golfers earned at-large bids. No. 21 Marisol Benavidez is one of two Marana golfers to qualify along with Alexis Pico. CDO’s Danny Niichel is the lone Dorado to make the field. She is rated No. 29 in the state. 

 

Cross Country

Two area boys cross country teams have qualified for the Division II State Cross Country Championships this Saturday at the Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix. CDO and Marana finished third and fourth respectively at the sectional qualifier in Rio Rico. 

The Dorados were led by Isaiah Guevara, who finished fourth overall. Teammate Mike Madigan was 15.

The Tigers were paced by Kyle Partin and Jordan Toone, who were 18th and 19th, finishing just over four seconds a part. 

Two area runners qualified as individuals thanks to their top-25 finishes. Ironwood Ridge’s Tony Torres was 13th, while Mountain View’s Alex Ramirez was 24th.

No local girls teams qualified for the Division II championships, though three individuals will race this weekend for a state title. Marana’s Daniela Arellano and Madelin Medina finished 12th and 13th. The Tigers did not have enough runners to post a team score. 

Mountain View’s Delany Vaughn was 18th, the lone Mountain Lion heading to the state championships in Phoenix.

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