Aztecs win thriller over Xavier, advance to state finals

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Aztecs win thriller over Xavier, advance to state finals

Written by Graham Eversden, Staff Writer

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Aztec volleyball is now just one win away from its first title since 1991 thanks to a 25-23, 25-18, 15-25, 18-25, 15-11 victory over Xavier Prep. This is the Aztec’s first trip to the finals since 2009.

The first set was a tossup the whole way. Neither team was able to take control until the Aztecs scored the winning point.

“At practice we worked on what they were going to do,” junior Abby Meyer said, “so we were really good early.”

The second set was even better by the Aztecs. With junior Brooke Nuneviller running all over the court on defense and coming up with seven kills, the Aztecs never looked vulnerable. They commanded the set from start to finish.

The wheels fell off of the Aztecs during the third set. Repeated net faults ended all chances of rallying for the Aztecs. Xavier’s defense also stepped up, holding Nuneviller to only two kills during the set.

“We were feeling very confident,” Nuneviller said. “I think a little too confident after the second game. The third and fourth we felt like we had it under control, so we didn’t fight as hard as we should have.”

The momentum continued for the Gators in the next set. They jumped out to a 20-9 lead by serving hard and keeping the Aztecs out of system. The Gators’ defense prevented many of Corona’s shots from hitting the ground and it seemed the Aztecs couldn’t catch a break.

“We were flat,” Maxfield said. “We always need to serve better and we always need to pass better.”

The Aztecs gained some momentum toward the end of the set but it proved too little, too late.

“The momentum just led us into the fifth game,” senior Lauren Forte said. “There was a lot of pressure but we just took it from there.”

The fifth set was about as close as it could be. Xavier took a 11-10 lead before junior Abby Meyer came into serve. She served five straight Aztec points to clinch the match.

“I’m so happy to contribute to the team,” Meyer said. “I wasn’t nervous. I knew we were going to win.”

The final is tonight night against Mountain Pointe, a team that Corona has already played five times. The Aztecs won four. The game is at 7:15 at Mesquite High School.

The Aztecs will be going for their first title under Maxfield.

“We are so excited,” Nuneviller said. “(Coach Maxfield) has made the finals two other times and never won so we want to do it for coach.”

 

 

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