Sunrise Region: Foothill tops Coronado for program’s first region title

Foothill’s boys volleyball team is on a mission to make history.

School history, anyway.

The Falcons (31-11) claimed their first Sunrise Region championship game Saturday afternoon with a title game when they 25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 35-33 win over Coronado.

“You know the boys put in a lot of work and they’ve, for the past two years, really focused on wanting to do this,” Foothill coach Lewis Miranda said. “So I’m glad they were able to go out there and win that first region championship for Foothill High School.”

A trio of seniors – Troy Bell, Truss Erb and Tanner Lester – and junior Caleb Stearman, leads the Falcons. All four of those players were named to first-team all-league after the victory.

“They’re kind of our core group of guys,” Miranda added, “so it is awesome to see them being recognized for their efforts.”

Stearman had 12 kills, eight blocks and dished out 22 assists to lead the Falcons to the league title. Richard Reid had 15 kills, and Lester had 11 kills and six blocks.

The Falcons and Cougars (24-19) went back and forth during the first two sets, with each team winning one. The Falcons jumped out to an early 8-3 lead in the third set, though, and took care of business to take a 2-1 advantage.

The fourth set was an epic battle. After Coronado tied the match at 20-20 on a sideout, neither team could take more than a one-point lead. And after a net violation and a long serve, both teams were tied at 25-25.

Coronado had several chances in the tiebreak to force a fifth set, but Stearman came up with a kill to keep the set going. Eventually, Foothill gained the serve advantage in the tiebreak after a long serve by Coronado, and Lester ended the set with a kill to give the match.

“That was a crazy set,” Miranda said. “I’m proud of the boys for digging deep, playing their game and not getting too crazy or nervous out there. They just trusted in themselves and won that match.”

The Falcons now turn their attention to a bigger first – the first boys’ volleyball state title in Foothill history.

They begin that quest at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Arbor View at Arbor View.

Ben Bloss led the Cougars with 22 kills. Alex Winiarczyk had 14 kills, Cody Sciabica had 12 kills, Andrew Corrales had 18 digs, and Matt Wilson had seven kills, 29 assists, one ace, 12 digs and one block.

“It’s a good feeling to make history, especially for boys volleyball and especially for Foothill since it’s our first time,” Stearman said. “It’s a step in the right direction. The guys with experience really helped us out, and our team pulled it out so it’s good. We handled adversity well, and we just got through it.”