Shorter was sweeter for the Phoenix Xavier Gators. The Gators won the first two games Tuesday night, then dropped one, before finishing off host Tempe Corona del Sol in a 5A nonregion girls volleyball match.
The week before, the Gators had won the first two, then needed five games to knock off Mesa Mountain View.
“We were aware of what happened last week, and we did not want to make a habit of going to that fifth game,’’ coach Tim McHale said after his team ran its record to 11-3 with 25-22, 25-15, 15-25, 25-22 victory over the Aztecs (13-3).
Kate Coppola had three kills and a block as Xavier pulled away in the fourth game, coming back from a 19-18 deficit.
Coppola finished with 14 kills. Kelsey Bohman finished with 11 kills and Stephanie Preach has 42 assists.
Corona senior Sara Bowden had a match-high 16 kills.
“We’re a young team, and we made some young mistakes,’’ Corona coach Ben Maxfield said.
“They’re a good team. Hopefully, we’ll see them at state.” Xavier pulled out a close game, then ran away with the second game. Corona turned it around in the next game.
“We started passing the ball,’’ Maxfield said. “They are scary good when they’re in system,’’ McHale said.
Xavier re-established order in the fourth game, taking a 5-1 lead. Corona fought back and tied the game at 11 on a block by Katherine Gatz. It was back and forth until Xavier pulled away at the end.
“Our seniors really took control,’’ McHale said. “They showed leadership and found a way to contribute.”