Sixteen girls’ volleyball teams from each conference have an opportunity to continue their seasons and compete for a state championship.
The seedings were to be released on Saturday, after press time.
Some teams from the East Valley made it via an automatic bid, by finishing in the top eight teams of their conference, while other teams that were ranked between 9th and 24th had to play one final game to secure a spot.
Mesa and Highland were two East Valley teams that squeaked into the 2017 6A State Tournament Thursday night while the Chandler Wolves fell to Desert Vista. In the 5A play-ins, Williams Field fell to Verrado to end their run.
Some of the teams that fought their way into the tournament will possibly have to matchup with top teams that have dominated the volleyball scene all season long. Defending 6A champion Corona del Sol is one of those teams looking to defend their title.
Head Coach Ben Maxfield and the Aztecs have powered their way to a 21-2 record. Both of their losses came to No. 1-ranked Xavier Prep in tournament style games at the Nike Tournament of Champions and the Gilbert Invitational. Corona did defeat Xavier Prep in the semifinals last year after falling to them in the Gilbert Invitational. But, the only Arizona team to take down Xavier Prep in 2017 has been Mountain Pointe, another automatic qualifier in 6A.
The Aztecs have been led by a trio of seniors who were key contributors in last year’s state championship run. After representing the USA at the FIVB World Championships in Argentina, Brooke Nuneviller is fourth in kills in the state of Arizona with 513. She has added 45 aces from behind the service line. Abby Meyer has contributed to most of those kills as the senior is second in Arizona with 1,117 assists, behind only Gabby Leo from Mountain Pointe.
Other top teams from the East Valley that may make a splash in the state tournament includes the Perry Pumas, who fell to Mountain Pointe in the quarterfinals last season. With a 34-6 record, the Pumas have been led by senior Ryann Davis, who has tallied 299 kills, 51 aces and 59 blocks this season. While the Pumas fell to Xavier Prep twice this season, they also fell to the Hamilton Huskies (24-15).
The Huskies were the No. 1 seed in the 6A conference last season but lost both their top hitter and top blocker to graduation. Senior Darian Clark has tried to fill those voids this year with 376 kills. Shannon Ryan also has had another successful season leading the Huskies in assists with 531.
Throughout the rest of the state tournaments, keep an eye on Queen Creek (5A, 14-3), Campo Verde (5A, 11-6), Seton Catholic Prep (4A, 13-3), Marcos de Niza (4A, 11-6) and Higley (4A, 11-7). Seedings were released Saturday evening and can be found on AZPreps365.com. First-round games will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 31, for 6A-4A and Friday, Nov. 3, for 3A through 1A.