The Chandler Wolves were extremely focused for their match with Gilbert. In fact, the Wolves were focused on it the night before.
“We were really ready for this one. We were even thinking about it in the match last night,’’ Wolves star Paije Pearson said. “Fortunately, we were able to win that one.”
The Wolves managed to gather themselves and beat Gilbert Highland on Tuesday, and fifth-ranked Chandler easily dispatched Gilbert, 25-18, 25-9, 25-13 Wednesday in Fiesta Region girls volleyball at Chandler.
“This one was big for us,’’ Chandler coach Janna Corbett said. “We were playing the Fiesta Region champion.”
The Wolves showed some nervousness in the early going, Corbett said.
“We were pumped, and there were some butterflies, but we overcame them,’’ said Corbett, whose team is 7-0 in regular season matches and 2- 0 in region play.
“Everything we’d worked on in practice the past two weeks paid off,’’ she said.
Pearson had 16 kills, nine digs and five aces to lead the Wolves. Taite Wall had 11 kills, eight digs and five aces, and Katie Milan had 30 assists.
Gilbert (4-2, 1-1) was missing setter Ashley Denham, who was in an accident and suffered a concussion.
Katie Ray was called up from the junior varsity.
“We found we were without our setter at 1:30 this afternoon,’’ Gilbert coach Joe Hesse said. “Katie did a great job on short notice.”
“I’m not sure it would have made a difference if we’d have had Ashley,’’ Hesse said. “We didn’t have an answer for Paije or Wall.”
Chandler jumped out to an early lead in each game, and Gilbert never led once in the match.
Pearson said the Wolves played with real passion.
“We worked in practice on winning every ball,” she said.
The Wolves’ effort was best exemplified during a long rally that brought them to match point. Twice the Wolves dug the ball out on kill attempts, barely keeping the point going. Finally Erin Cooper, with her back to the next, bumped one over for a winner.