I-A VOLLEYBALL: Gardenhire has 16 kills as Tech advances past Cheyenne

Tech boys volleyball coach Tiare Monga sent her players onto the court Monday hoping that consistency would not be the problem it was throughout the regular season.

The Roadrunners got a win, but inconsistent play continued to be an issue.

Tyler Gardenhire had 16 kills and two blocks to help Tech beat Cheyenne 25-21, 25-14, 19-25, 25-14 in the Division I-A state volleyball quarterfinals at Desert Pines. The win lifted the Roadrunners (11-6) into the semifinals, where they will face Mojave (19-4) at 7 p.m. today.

“We’ve had our struggles,” Monga said. “But I expected the boys to rise to the challenge today. At least we came out on top, which is a good thing.”

The Roadrunners got into trouble early, giving up a first-set point with an illegal substitution and struggling to get back on track. But they finished the set with an 11-2 run behind Gardenhire’s five kills.

Tech controlled the second set, finishing with a 10-3 run, thanks in part to five more kills by Gardenhire.

But things came apart in the third, as the Desert Shields took advantage of six Roadrunner errors en route to an 8-0 scoring spurt that put them ahead, 16-6. Tech recovered, but too late to prevent Cheyenne from forcing a fourth set.

“In that set, we just defeated ourselves,” Monga said. “That’s been the battle all season.”

Tech took charge early in the fourth set and won 12 of the last 16 points, ending the match on a kill by Bryant Pochop.

“They finally rallied behind each other,” Monga said. “The only way we can come out on top is when we play together as a team.”

Brandon Finley helped the Roadrunners with 11 kills, and teammate Joshua Wood had five kills and four service aces.

Deonte Perkins led Cheyenne with 16 digs, six kills and three aces. Teammate Oscar Monzon had 12 assists, and Dylan Johnson added seven kills and two blocks.

Mojave 3, Desert Pines 0 — The Rattlers stormed to a 13-1 first-set lead and never let up on the way to a 25-9, 25-5, 25-11 victory over the Jaguars (0-14).

Alex Carvalho had eight kills and three aces to lead Mojave. Teammates Jovan Carrazco (26 assists, three aces), Clayton Fontano (eight kills, three blocks, two aces) and Matt Albinio (eight kills, two aces) also helped.

Chaparral 3, Western 0 — The Cowboys overcame a brief second-set deficit and went on to rout the Warriors, 25-12, 25-19, 25-6.

Pierce Morgan led Chaparral with 11 kills, six assists and five digs. Teammate Jesus Butello had 15 digs and three aces, and Matt Sanger added seven digs, four kills and three assists.

The Cowboys (11-6) will face Clark (11-9) in a semifinal at 5 p.m. today. Western finished 1-15.

Clark 3, Sunrise Mountain 0 — Walt Benda had six kills and four aces to help the Chargers cruise to a 25-22, 25-12, 25-14 victory over the Miners (2-11).

Henok Mucheye (six kills, two blocks), Jose Sahagun (nine assists, two kills, one block), Walter Regalado (eight assists, five aces) and Daniel Diaz-Villa (five kills, one block) also contributed for Clark.

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