The Canyon del Oro Dorados volleyball squad cruised past two Casa Grande high schools last week to improve their yearlong record to 12-3.
The Dorados, coached by Mike Owens, engaged in a tactical battle with the Cougars of Casa Grande High School last Tuesday, before wearing them down in four sets.
They followed that up with a much more manageable straight sets win over Vista Grande Thursday, capping off a solid week for the squad.
Owens addressed his team’s highs and lows after their match against Casa Grande, saying he’s happy with how the unit has handled their mishaps this season.
“We played sloppily tonight, which is okay,” Owens said. “As long as we’re attempting the things that we’re training then we can handle a hiccup here and there.”
The Dorados jumped out to a two sets to none lead on Casa Grande that night, before a myriad of on-court issues allowed the Cougars to take the fourth set, 25-23.
Owens is confident that his team has ironed out their mistakes, ahead of a crucial match at Salpointe Catholic on Thursday night. The Dorados and Lancers will meet for the second time this season, after the latter swept CDO in Oro Valley on Sept. 25, handing the Dorados their first loss of the year.
The Lancers (23-4) dominated much of their match against CDO earlier this year, falling behind in the first set, 13-11, before storming back to take that opening set, 25-19.
They never slowed from there, winning sets two and three, 25-17 and 25-18, respectively. The two teams are likely to be batting on Thursday for the regional championship, with Salpointe sitting at 6-0 against region foes, while CDO is 5-1 this year.
Owens is proud of the way his team, with three seniors on the roster, has fought through their schedule, succeeding despite their lack of veteran leadership.
“When we first started working out, I could tell that this group had a real good work ethic and at that moment I knew that the only limitation on what this team could do would be us as coaches,” he said. “So, we really kind of made us a real focus to never take the foot off the gas, to go a 100 percent every moment, and they’ve really responded to it, which is really neat.”
Elsewhere on the volleyball courts of Southern Arizona last week, the Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks won both of their matches in straight sets over Buena and Sunnyside, improving their record to 16-10. The Nighthawks return to regional play against Cienega High School in Vail Wednesday, Oct. 10, before hosting Marana Oct. 16.
The Tigers split their matches last week, defeating Sunnyside in straight sets before being swept by Cienega, dropping their record to 14-5 for the season. Their lone match of the week is against IRHS on Oct. 16.
The Mountain View Lions won all three of its matches, against Rincon/University, Desert View and Cholla to improve to 11-13 this season.
The Lions will face off against Flowing Wells on Oct. 9, before heading to Vail to play Empire on Oct. 11 to close out the week.
The Pusch Ridge Christian Academy Lions lost their second match of the year, against Tanque Verde High School, in four sets on Oct. 4, dropping their record to 20-2 this season.
The Lions face Sabino High School on Oct. 16 in their next match, before hosting Sahuarita on Oct. 18.
High school golf
Several local golfers are poised to qualify for the AIA State Golf Tournament, to be held at the OMNI Tucson National on Oct. 22 and 23. Ironwood Ridge has six boys golfer currently in-line to play in the tournament, with Jarrod Johnson, Connor Wierman, Drew Bowers, Zander Los, Logan Samples and Ben Hogan all qualifying. The Ironwood Ridge girls golf team will send its team as well, with Allison Acosta, Raina Ports, Hannah Ports, Kaylee Jewkes and Makenna Brown all making the cut in the Division II girls tournament. The Catalina Foothills boys team has two players that have already qualified, in Adam Mamula and Jacob Goode, with more possibly making the cut in the matches to come. The CDO girls team will send its team, Kaitlyn Hsu, Madeline Fay, Hannah Bort, Sofia Santos and Celia Schrecker. The Mountain View boys golf team will send two players, in sophomore Devein Ackermann and senior Max Robles as individuals for the boys tournament.