Losing the first set of a match hadn't happened to Campo Verde this season in its 18 power-point matches — but it did Thursday night in the Division II girls volleyball quarterfinals.
Top-seed Campo Verde had a response to No. 8 Deer Valley's first-set triumph, blitzing the Skyhawks in the second set and following through with a 3-1 victory at Campo Verde High. Scores were 21-25, 25-8, 25-17, 25-16.
Campo Verde (39-6), in its first season in D-II, next meets up Saturday with No. 5 Tucson High in the semifinals at 2 p.m. at Mesquite High. Deer Valley finished off a fine season 26-14. Tucson swept Queen Creek to advance. Tucson and Campo Verde met a couple times this season in Marana Mountain View's Lions Den Invite. They met in the title match, won by Tucson.
“We didn't talk about the scouting report or strategy,” Campo Verde coach Tricia Melfy said. “It was about letting it go. It was over and we move on. The only thing I wanted was for us to speed things up. We weren't playing as fast as I wanted.”
Campo Verde might have been a bit shell-shocked after the opening set loss, considering it led 15-9 at one point. But Deer Valley pecked away and scored the final five points of the set to erase a 21-20 deficit. Four of the five points were off kills by Leah Micek, Jemima Idemudia and Jordan Taylor.
Campo Verde hit the floor running for the second set and took away any mental edge DeSoer Valley gained by blasting the visitors, 25-8 Its attack was varied — five kills for hitter Kaylee Boyse, four kills for middle Misha McDowell, two from opposite Madison Campbell and one from versatile Haley Christiansen. All of them seniors getting their shots courtesy of senior setter Jessi Lammers. Add three aces in the set by sophomore libero Maya Doyle and Melfy had a highlight tape to show future teams.
Deer Valley was more competitive in the next two sets, at least to the 15-point mark. Campo Verde, however, pulled away in each set at that juncture to win going away.
“The first game was phenomenal,” Deer Valley coach Jackie Wallace said. “They picked up the pace and starting playing faster, faster than we are used to. They got in system, got in their groove after the first set……
“We graduated eight seniors and I don't think most people expected us to be competitive. I'm proud of the girls getting to the quarterfinals. The odds were against us.”
Campo Verde's offense was led by McDowell (15 kills), Boyse (11 kills) and Christiansen (eight kills). Doyle was solid defensively the entire match. Doyle and Lammers served seven points each in the second set. Doyle had six aces of 13 served up by Campo Verde in the match. Deer Valley received nine kills each from Idemudia and Taylor and six from Micek.