Last Friday, Green Valley’s girls volleyball team did not look like a team that just had won the Sunrise Region championship.
The Gators and coach Erin Hill looked more like they were celebrating a lottery win and an Olympic gold medal all at once after defeating Silverado in five games.
That’s exactly why Hill had her team come together for its regular workout at 6:30 a.m. the next day to start preparing for the Class 4A state tournament, which takes place today and Saturday at Silverado High School.
“I just wanted to make it as normal as I possibly could,” Hill said. “I didn’t want to lose that enthusiasm, but I was concerned.”
Green Valley takes on Northern champion Reno in one semifinal tonight at 7. Sunset Region champion Bishop Gorman faces Silverado, which won a play-in game Monday against Sunset runner-up Palo Verde, in the other match at 8:40 p.m. The winners meet at 4 p.m. Saturday for the state championship.
The schedule also includes the Class 1A, 2A and 3A semifinals, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, with the championship game slate starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.
In the region tournament, the Gators met their year-long goal of beating the Skyhawks after losing last year’s Sunrise title game and three regular-season matchups against Silverado.
“I can’t even begin to explain to you how hard this team has worked to get past Silverado,” Hill said.
After her team’s practice Saturday morning, Hill traveled to Reno to watch the Huskies take on Damonte Ranch in the Northern Region title game. She came away with the impression that Reno, which made the state finals a year ago, looks a lot like Silverado.
“They pass well, and they play good defense,” Hill said. “They’re solid. There’s no doubt they can beat anybody.”
The same can be said of Bishop Gorman and Silverado.
The Gaels handled Palo Verde in three games in the region title match but draw a harsh reward in facing the Skyhawks — the consensus No. 1 team in Southern Nevada throughout the year — in the state semifinals.
The Skyhawks, appearing in their fourth consecutive state tournament, easily defeated the Gaels in the regular season.
“We drew the toughest draw we could,” Gaels coach Ed Van Meetren said. “We’ve just got to get them in trouble, go after them in serve-receive.”