Coronado knew it had a challenge waiting in the Class 4A Sunrise Region girls volleyball final against Silverado on Friday night.
The Cougars’ task: containing Sunrise Region Player of the Year Sydney Berenyi.
Berenyi made her mark, but Coronado had too many weapons along the front line and wore down the Skyhawks in three straight games, 25-13, 28-26, 25-18 at Durango High.
It was the Cougars’ fourth region title in the last five seasons.
“We came out focused tonight and knew what we had to did,” Coronado coach Matt Johnson said. “But hats off to Sydney, she’s a tough player and we knew she would give it her all. Our front line was too much tonight.”
Coronado’s front line — featuring Tatum Spangler, Cassandra Smith-Van Oyen, Shannon Evans and Madison Karcich — combined for over 30 kills against the much-smaller Skyhawks.
The Cougars raced out to a 16-9 lead in the first game en route to winning 25-13 and grabbing all the momentum.
Berenyi had six kills in the second game, and the Skyhawks led on four different occasions to make things interesting.
But key plays by Evans, and blocks from Sasha Bolla and McCallister Gayle, spearheaded a 6-2 Cougars run and led to a two-set advantage.
Coronado broke an 8-8 tie in the final game with a key 6-0 run, and the Cougars earned their berth in the state tournament.
“We simply did what we had to do,” Johnson said. “We beat a good team with a very good leader. That second game was a bit long and I knew if we could get that one, we would be in good shape.”
Berenyi led the Skyhawks with 18 kills and eight digs. Kaylynn Smith added nine digs for Silverado (23-16), which will face Shadow Ridge (28-11) in a state play-in game at 7 p.m. Monday at Sierra Vista.
Karcich led the Cougars with 12 kills, nine digs, two blocks and an ace. Evans added nine kills for Coronado.