Girl’s volleyball traveled to Mesquite for the second night in a row but with the stakes a little higher. For the first time since 1991, the Aztecs are state champions thanks to their win over rival Mountain Pointe, 25-13, 25-21, 25-15.
Head Coach Ben Maxfield said the key to winning the championship came from an overall team effort, leading them to hoist the championship trophy Wednesday night.
“Our passing was spot on,” Maxfield said. “We served tough, which we always try to do. Our hitters were just putting the ball away.”
The Aztecs jumped out to an early lead and did not look back. Freshman star Mady Noble credits the team with staying calm before the big match.
“Before (the match) we were ready to go,” Noble said. “We were ready to win.”
Senior Lauren Forte, who arguably had her best performance in high school, agrees that the team handled the environment well and used it to its advantage.
“We stayed calm through it all,” Forte said. “The crowd was loud and we just did it for each other.”
The Aztecs turned to Forte and junior Emma West throughout the night to ensure an Aztec victory. Senior Erica Ronda impressed everyone in the gym with 15 kills, 16 digs, 3 aces, and one block.
“That was Forte’s best match ever,” Maxfield said.
West liked her team’s chances going into the match having played Mountain Pointe a total of five times before this game.
“We had a lot more confidence going into the game,” West said. “We’ve played Mountain Pointe (a lot) this season and we knew their tendencies. It was great to be familiar with the team.”
The Aztecs were able to accomplish their ultimate goal Wednesday all in part to that special bond all great teams need to have in order to win.
“Our team had the (best) chemistry,” Forte said. “We were all really wanting to win for each other.”
“We came together as a team really well,” junior captain Brooke Nuneviller said. “(This season was all) teamwork.”
“This is (the team’s) third or fourth year playing together,” Maxfield said. “They’ve worked together for a long time. They’re friends on and off the court.”
The feeling of being crowned a champion can be one that doesn’t hit for days or even weeks, and the team is going to be sure to enjoy the feeling when it hits.
“It doesn’t feel real yet,” Nuneviller said. “When I get home and get on my bed trying to sleep, it’s going to hit but it’s exciting.”