Tempe Marcos de Niza’s regular middle blockers had to leave after the first game Tuesday night for a state band competition. The Padres never missed a beat.
Backups Amina Ziri and Kenna Garinger filled in ably for Cathy Thompson and Allison Dean as Marcos de Niza marched to a 25-20, 25-22, 25-20 victory over host Mesa Desert Ridge in a 5A-II Pima Region girls volleyball match.
“It seems that in the sport of volleyball one change can really cause some issues for you,” Marcos de Niza coach Scott Miller said. “I was happy to see that we played well with the change in the lineup.”
Marcos de Niza is 9-6 overall and 4-2 in region. The Padres came into the match 11th in the power rankings.
The six region champions and 10 at-large teams, based on power rankings, qualify for the state tournament.
“There are so many teams right behind us that are bunched up, this was really a must win match for us,” Miller said.
Desert Ridge (8-6, 3-3) is one of those teams still in the hunt. The Jaguars came into the match ranked 17th in power points.
“It’s not over yet,” coach Tricia Melfy said. “We’re still hoping and planning to get there.”
Brianna Boyles had 10 kills to lead the Padres.
Aubrielle Funk had eight kills and setter Chloe Ferrell five kills, successfully pushing the ball into unmanned areas of the court on key plays.
Miller praised the service receiving skills of Jenna Prescott and Megan Santos.
All three games were close with Desert Ridge making a run at the end. But Marcos was able to close each out.
Boyles had kills on game points to win the first and third games. Garinger’s tip finished off the second game.