After a slow start, the second-seeded Phoenix Arcadia Titans looked like they were in for a long night in their quarterfinal match of the 4A Division II state girls volleyball tournament.
However, a couple of key possessions late in the first two games gave Arcadia (28-5) the momentum they needed to eliminate visiting Phoenix Cortez, 25-20, 25-23, 25-12, on Thursday night. The Titans now have a date with No. 3 seed Page at 11 a.m. Saturday at Chandler Hamilton for a spot in the 5 p.m. finals.
The Titans’ Megan Toth (25 kills, 14 digs) led the way again for Arcadia, but it wasn’t easy.
“I knew we could reach it, all we had to do was work hard and we did and we got there,” Toth said. “It’s so exciting.”
Arcadia lost to eventual state champion Cave Creek Cactus Shadows in last year’s semifinals, taking them to three games.
On Thursday, despite the play of Toth, Rachel Barber (8 kills, 6 blocks) and tandem setters Hannah Johnson (18 assists) and Brittany Collinge (17 assists), the East Sky Region champs had to find an answer for Cortez’s 5-foot-11 outside hitter Melissa Middleton.
“We started out slow, we normally start out slow,” Toth said. “But we picked it up and when we pick it up it’s so amazing. We can stop pretty much anyone if we put our minds to it.”
The New Mexico-bound Middleton had eight kills in the first game and finished with 20 in helping keep the seventh-seeded Colts (24-8) in the match — at least for the first 45 minutes.
The other 4A-II semifinal Saturday pits Phoenix Sunnyslope against Flagstaff.