Fatigue started to show from both teams in the fifth set of the opening Class 4A Sunrise Region volleyball semifinal on Thursday evening. Legs became heavy, sets were off-timed and self-inflicted errors began to pile up on each side of the net.
Las Vegas High, though, proved to have one final wind when it counted most.
Trailing 10-8 in the decisive set, the Wildcats closed the match on a 7-2 run to knock off Green Valley — the defending state champions — with a 25-17, 21-25, 25-27, 25-21, 15-12 victory at Coronado.
“They knew what they needed to do (when we fell behind),” Las Vegas coach Justin Graham said. “We made some silly errors in the beginning and they made a couple good plays. It’s just such a momentum game.”
Las Vegas (20-8) will play at Coronado (27-14) in the region final at 7 p.m. on Friday. Both teams advance to next week’s state tournament, but the Cougars will first be looking to avenge a five-set home loss to Las Vegas on March 15.
It was junior setter Shaun Kampshoff who provided the momentum-shifting plays to move his team into the region final and on the heels of its first title since 2015. After serving the tying point to his older brother, Brandon, in the fifth set to make it 10-10, Shaun Kampshoff gave the Wildcats their first lead of the set with a cross-court kill.
And with the score tied at 12-12, he sealed the deal for good. He assisted on another kill to his brother before serving one of his two aces to put Las Vegas up 14-12. Green Valley senior James Reed hit a ball long on the next possession to end the match.
“It’s always good (to beat the defending state champions). The kids enjoy it,” Graham said. “We kind of have a little rivalry with Green Valley in all of our sports. … They did a really great job of using their whole offense tonight. Compared to when I’ve seen them a few times. Their middles had some really big swings, and their right side had some huge swings in the fifth game. Their whole team was involved.”
Shaun Kampshoff’s versatility from the setter position was the difference. The left-hander finished with 20 kills, 21 assists, two aces and 17 digs, and often kept the Gators off balance with his dump kills.
“His versatility definitely makes a difference,” Graham said. “Everybody’s got some big outside hitters. Everybody’s got some middles that can close blocks. It’s one kind of advantage we’ve got — a tall, left-handed kid that can go up too. So we want to put him in those situations. That’s really hard to deal with.”
In the fourth set, the Wildcats overcame eight ties and battled back from an early 9-5 deficit. Las Vegas closed the set on a 4-0 run, with the final point coming on a hitting error by Green Valley.
Brandon Kampshoff had 20 kills and nine digs for the Wildcats, who also got strong contributions from Kyle Monton (28 digs), Elliott Silveira (20 assists) and Jon Sosa (17 digs).
Reed led Green Valley with 21 kills and nine digs. Tanner Webb added eight kills and five blocks, and Michael Soha had seven kills and four blocks for the Gators (23-13).
Coronado 3, Foothill 1 — Ryan Garlick had a match-high 25 kills, and Nik Purser added 15 kills and 11 digs to lead the Cougars to a 24-26, 25-17, 25-18, 25-14 win over the Falcons in the other Sunrise Region semifinal.
Matt Wilson had 53 assists, two aces and 11 digs, and Stuart White had eight kills for Coronado, which also got 21 digs from Andrew Corrales.
Tanner Lester led Foothill with 11 kills and four digs. Richard Reid had 10 kills and two digs, and Caleb Stearman notched 26 assists, eight digs and three blocks for the Falcons (17-20).