Macey Gardner had 16 kills and five aces and Sarah Clause added 10 kills as Gilbert (33-11) withstood the big hitting of Phoenix Mountain Pointe star Ashley Kastl to advance to the 5A-I state volleyball semifinals with a 29-27, 25-18, 25-22 win over the Pride on Thursday at Gilbert.
“There were some big-time balls being put away by both sides but I think we just had a few more weapons,” Gilbert coach Joe Hesse said.
Kastl finished with 13 kills while Pride sophomore Erika Papadeas added eight to lead Mountain Pointe.
Pride senior libero Alexa Cava had 15 digs.
Ashley Denham added 38 assists for Gilbert, which will face Phoenix Desert Vista in the semifinals Saturday at Chandler Hamilton.
DESERT VISTA DEF. MESQUITE, 27-25, 25-11, 26-24: Host Desert Vista (39-6) got a big kill from Betsi Metter and a Mesquite unforced error to take the first game as the Thunder took a hard-fought match from the surprising Wildcats.
“I kind of felt like they may have been a little bit tight,” Thunder coach Molly West said of her team. “It’s just that piece of finishing that young teams sometimes have to get comfortable doing.”
CORONA DEL SOL DEF. DESERT MOUNTAIN, 25-16, 25-21, 25-19: Taylor Kesteloot had 21 assists, Cassie Ronda had 10 kills and Bethany Jorgensen added seven kills and four aces as host Corona del Sol (17-2) advanced to a semifinal meeting with Phoenix Xavier on Saturday at Hamilton by sweeping the Wolves (11-8).
Emily Kaup added five kills and five blocks for the Aztecs and Lexie Schroeder had 18 digs.
TUCSON IRONWOOD RIDGE DEF. DESERT RIDGE, 25-23, 20-25, 25-17, 25-18: Tied at one game apiece, Desert Ridge (15-4) took an 8-1 lead in the third game before Ironwood Ridge stormed back to take control of the match behind eight service points from Malyree Harper.
In other quarterfinal action: Peoria Centennial beat Surprise Willow Canyon, 25-16, 25-10, 25-13; and Glendale Deer Valley beat Marana Mountain View, 25-14, 25-8, 25-23.
TUCSON SABINO DEF. SAGUARO: 25-22, 25-18, 25-23: Cassie Cockhren had six kills, Ashley Aubrey had five and Courtney Panozzo added four for Saguaro (14-6), which fell Thursday to Sabino after an upset win over Vail Cienega on Wednesday in the first round.
In other quarterfinal action: Phoenix Sunnyslope beat Prescott, 25-15, 25-14, 25-15; Glendale Sandra Day O’Connor downed Cave Creek Cactus Shadows 25-19, 26-24, 15-25, 16-25, 15-12; and Glendale Cactus beat Tucson Catalina Foothills, 25-15, 25-11, 25-16.
NOTRE DAME DEF. TUCSON CATALINA, 25-19, 25-16, 25-22: Notre Dame (32-7) got contributions from nearly everyone in an easy victory over Catalina.
Cassie Uribe had 14 kills, a block, three aces and two digs. Jessica Maxwell had 11 kills, five blocks, three aces and seven digs. Leah Stevens had eight kills, a block and two aces. Liz Smith had three kills, a block, an ace, and three digs.
Haley Madden (10 assists, two aces, six digs) and Stephanie Svorinic (20 assists, four digs and a block) split the setting duties for the Saints, who will face Tucson Amphitheater in the semifinals Saturday at Hamilton.
ARCADIA DEF. COTTONWOOD MINGUS, 25-18, 25-18, 25-12: Melissa Toth had 18 kills and seven digs and Amy Waitkus added 11 kills and a whopping eight blocks as Arcadia (29-2) cruised into the semifinals with a sweep of Mingus.
Teal Pine had 12 kills and 10 digs for Arcadia, which will face Chandler Seton Catholic in the semifinals Saturday at Hamilton.
The two teams split a pair of meetings this season with each team winning at home.
“They’re a very talented team,” Arcadia coach Josh Olshan said of the Sentinels. “It’s a shame it’s the semifinals where we’re meeting them.”
SETON CATHOLIC DEF. GLENDALE RAYMOND KELLIS, 27-25, 25-12, 25-21: Haley Lawless had 23 kills and Molly Barlow added 13 as No. 2 seed Seton (38-4) whipped Raymond Kellis to reach the state semifinals for the fourth straight season.
In the other quarterfinal match, Tucson Amphitheater beat Phoenix Greenway, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21.
State volleyball tournament
All games are Saturday at Chandler Hamilton High School
5A-I semifinals: 7 p.m., Gilbert vs. Desert Vista; 8:45 p.m., Xavier vs. Corona del Sol
5A-II semifinals: Noon, Deer Valley vs. Ironwood Ridge; 1:45 p.m., Centennial vs. Horizon
4A-I semifinals: 3:30 p.m., Sabino vs. Cactus; 5:15 p.m., Sunnyslope vs. Sandra Day O’Connor
4A-II semifinals: 8:30 a.m., Arcadia vs. Seton Catholic; 10:15 a.m., Amphitheater vs. Notre Dame