There was no major change in strategy to explain why Basic’s boys volleyball team surged past Rancho on Tuesday. The Wolves just began playing harder.
Basic rallied for a 3-2 road victory in the quarterfinals of the Sunrise Region playoffs, eliminating Rancho, 23-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-13, 15-7.
“We didn’t want to lose,” Basic setter Mike Lunen said. “We wanted it more than they did, and we showed it.”
Lunen, a senior team captain, had 44 assists and six blocks for the Wolves (15-6).
Seeded third from the Southeast League, Basic advanced to meet defending region champion Coronado (19-1) in the semifinals at 6:20 p.m. Thursday at Sierra Vista.
Jenson Lavallee had 18 kills, seven digs and five blocks for Basic. Jordan Pils supplied 16 kills, six blocks and four digs. Daniel Holihan (six blocks) and Austin Hafen added six kills each.
“Everybody just got mad and we decided to play our hardest in that fifth game,” Holihan said.
Rancho (11-6) was unable to recover from a 9-3 hole in the fifth game and fell short in an attempt for its first playoff victory since 2000.
Antonio Boucher led the Rams with 18 kills, nine digs and nine blocks. Ryan Dennis contributed 12 kills and 11 digs, and Kevin Wadsworth had 35 assists and eight blocks.
“It’s a game to 15, so all it takes is just a few bad contacts and the game is gone,” Rancho coach Allegra Derzon said of the fifth game.
“We talked about how it would be crucial for us to attack. And there were just too many errors they couldn’t make up for.”
Improving in the fourth and fifth games is nothing new for Basic, Wolves coach Kendall Hollingsworth said.
“Getting that first (match) out of the way is really important for us,” he said. “Now we just have to work on what we do best, which is getting stronger as the match progresses.”
Holihan said Rancho had improved dramatically from March 17, when Basic swept Rancho, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20.
“Rancho improved a lot over the season,” he said. “They became a very good team.”
Lunen agreed, saying, “They were faster, their hits were stronger and they had better blocks, and they have a scrappy back row."
The first game featured six ties and five lead changes.
Coronado 3, Valley 0 — At Coronado, Chris Austin had 12 assists, eight kills and four aces to help the Cougars gain a 25-9, 25-6, 25-21 victory over the Vikings (6-10).
Hunter Chaney added 11 assists and three aces, and Eric Boman had seven kills, four digs and eight aces for Coronado.
Las Vegas 3, Green Valley 0 — At Las Vegas, Danny Farias had 31 assists, nine digs and three kills, and Aaron Hansen added 12 kills, 10 digs and three blocks to help the Wildcats beat the Gators, 25-21, 25-16, 25-22.
Las Vegas (17-4) will meet Silverado in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Thursday at Sierra Vista.
Chris Millette had 10 digs and eight kills for the Wildcats, and Braeden Wilson supplied 11 digs and six kills.
Taylor Mitchell had 15 assists, and Cameron Olsen and Tyler Owens had seven kills apiece for Green Valley (9-9).
Silverado 3, Canyon Springs 0 — At Silverado, Christian Espina had 10 digs, seven kills and five assists, and Casey Hadland added 25 assists and nine digs as the Skyhawks swept the Pioneers, 25-15, 25-15, 25-5.
Preston Clipper tallied eight kills and five blocks for Silverado (15-5).
Raymond Estevez led Canyon Springs (8-8) with nine assists, and Adam Tuala had five kills.
Centennial 3, Bishop Gorman 0 — At Centennial, Jeff Mecham recorded 25 assists and Matt Kurtz had 12 kills as the Bulldogs beat the Gaels, 25-9, 25-14, 25-12.
Centennial will play host Sierra Vista in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Thursday.
Drew Staker had seven kills and Tyler McAninch added five kills for Centennial (16-5).
Cameron Tom had 20 assists and Bobby Houser 13 kills for Gorman (9-10).
Palo Verde 3, Bonanza 1 — At Bonanza, Matt Lish compiled 45 assists to carry the Panthers to a 25-16, 15-25, 25-18, 25-21 victory over the Bengals.
Palo Verde advanced to play Shadow Ridge in the semifinals at 4:40 p.m. Thursday at Sierra Vista.
Ryan Capko spiked 16 kills, Nick Hipwell 15 and Andrew Topham 10 for Palo Verde.
Andrew Whiting had 15 kills and Price Jarman nine for Bonanza.
Shadow Ridge 3, Spring Valley 0 — At Shadow Ridge, Ryan Nolan had 10 kills and eight blocks, and Jeremy Makaiwi supplied 22 assists to help the Mustangs beat the Grizzlies, 25-11, 25-11, 25-23.
Greg Smith added eight kills for Shadow Ridge (21-0). Spencer Gubler had five for Spring Valley (9-9).
Sierra Vista 3, Cimarron-Memorial 0 — At Sierra Vista, Zach Waldron had 34 assists, two kills and two blocks, and Kohl Homeyer added 13 kills and four blocks to help the Mountain Lions defeat the Spartans, 25-19, 25-18, 25-15.
Marvie Sanchez supplied 12 kills for Sierra Vista (19-2).
Scott Beckwith had 10 kills and 10 digs for Cimarron (12-7) and Matt Mortensen added six kills and 14 digs.