Girls volleyball beat Desert Vista in a three set sweep (25-12, 25-10, 25-15) after returning home from winning the Tournament of Champions Invite. The Thunder made the trip to Sam Duane Gymnasium as the two-time defending state champions. The Aztecs have had recent struggles facing Desert Vista in years past.
“They’ve beat us four years in a row,” Head Coach Ben Maxfield said. “It can bring a lot of confidence. For some of these girls this is their fourth year playing varsity and they had never beat (Desert Vista) in a regular season match until tonight. For them to beat (Desert Vista) like this their senior year gives them a huge amount of confidence.”
The Aztecs jumped all over the Thunder right from the start going up 6-0 before Desert Vista was forced to call a timeout.
“We came out really strong,” junior Emma West said. “We hit them as hard as we could.”
With the team off to a fast start, the Aztecs never gave the Thunder a chance allowing Desert Vista’s only lead in any set to come in a 2-1 lead in the third set.
“We were serving really well and they were struggling with their serve receive,” Maxfield said. “Anytime you can build your lead it makes you more relaxed.”
The Aztecs were led by strong performances from top players like West, Brooke Nuneviller, Madelyn Noble, Lauren Forte and Erica Ronda, who all played a major role in ensuring a comfortable win.
After the tournament win and the dominant performance over Desert Vista, the Aztecs are emerging as arguably the best team in the state.
“We’re finally realizing that we can be a top team in the state,” Maxfield said. “The fact that we are playing with confidence makes us really good. We can beat anyone as long as we are playing our game.”
At 16-1-0 on the season, Maxfield hopes his team can continue to grow into a favorite to in the state championship.
“It’s a long season,” Maxfield said. “We are happy with where we are but we are not satisfied. We want to go all the way. We have the chemistry and skill level. Now we just need to put it all together at once then we can make a run for it.”