After an intense semifinals, the Corona del Sol girls volleyball team will be returning to the 6A State Championship for the third year in a row. The lady Aztecs took the win over Perry 3-2, going to a fifth set tie-breaker after winning both the third and fourth sets, 25-21. The comeback win left head varsity coach Ben Maxfield more than pleased with his team.
“I’m very proud, but you know we’ve always been very resilient,” Maxfield said. “We always talk about ‘Hey! Sometimes things aren’t always going to go well so we just need to keep grinding and it will all eventually turn around.”
After a tough second set, it had seemed like the energy was gone from both the team and crowd. The Lady Aztecs had lost during the regular season to the No. 1 ranked Perry Pumas. But senior Kaiessa Sounart knew her team wasn’t going to go down without a fight.
“We came into the huddle and we were just like ‘we want this more than them,’ Sounart said. “We realized that we weren’t playing as a team and really just had to push through mentally and come together and work to win.”
After the second set the Lady Aztecs came back with fire. They pushed through to overcome Perry and take the win. The team was playing together and giving every point their all. Junior Nicole Newlin stressed that the team was able to come together due to the lessons taught by Maxfield.
“Coach Ben always tells us that any team can win on any given day and it’s not over after the first or second game,” Newlin said. “So we really came in there and showed them what we have and showed them what we got.”
The Lady Aztecs will take on Xavier Prep in the finals for the second year in a row. They will be looking to reclaim the title of state champs after losing last year. Sounart is elated to be headed to finals during her last year at Corona.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so excited,” Sounart said. “We wanted it (to win) as a team so bad and to be a senior and in my least year, I just wanted it so bad for our team and for the seniors.”
The AIA 6A State Championship game will take place Wednesday with an 8 p.m. start-time at ASU Wells Fargo Arena. For those who aren’t sure about attending the finals, keep in mind how Newlin rated the semifinals… it’s sure to be higher.
“One out of 10… an 11,” Newlin said.