Top-seeded Horizon advanced to the semifinals after a convincing victory over No. 8 Basha in the Division I state quarterfinals on Thursday night with a 3-0 sweep (25-16, 25-21, 25-10).
With the win, the Huskies will play No. 4 Glendale Mountain Ridge on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Mesquite High School in the second Div. I semifinal match.
Horizon (41-3) got out to a quick start in the first set with six consecutive points on the way to a 25-16 win. The opening set was characterized by the team’s aggressive style of play.
“We started really strong,” said Huskies Coach Valorie McKenzie. “We were serving aggressive today and really passing well. We ran a really solid offense.”
The best chance the Bears had to make the match more competitive came late in the second set when they cut into a seven-point Horizon lead. The Bears (29-11) got as close as two points before the attacking Huskies offense proved too much. The final set was over quickly and the home team finished the match on a 12-2 run.
Basha’s defense was forced to scramble to keep the ball in play, which meant minimal kill chances. Basha captain Breezy Scott led her team with 11 digs, while Rachel Brugman had four blocks at the net. McKayla Ferris managed 13 kills in the three-set contest.
“Our serves were really aggressive so their passes weren’t quite where they needed to be to run their offense,” McKenzie said.
Nikki Hess and Sierra Nobley were impressive for Horizon, recording 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Natalie Tardy had four block assists and Jordan Anderson had seven digs.
After the match, McKenzie was already contemplating her team’s next tournament match.
“You’re at the state semifinals, you have to play the best volleyball and hopefully we’ll go out there and do that," McKenzie said.