Las Vegas High’s girls volleyball coach Robert Miller spent the majority of his practices this season teaching fundamentals — like serving, blocking and passing — to his players in wake of a 7-27-1 finish in 2017.
“It’s hard to believe in high school, because you have a game every other (day), but that’s what we worked on,” he said.
It paid off on Wednesday afternoon.
The Wildcats (25-9) utilized those basic skills to clinch a 25-22, 25-21, 25-22 win over Cimarron-Memorial at Palo Verde in Mountain Region tournament quarterfinal play.
They’ll advance to semifinals, where they’ll face the top-seeded Panthers, who defeated Legacy in straight sets.
The Spartans finish 22-13.
“We have only maybe three club players, so we need to do a lot of technical training,” Miller said. “Its actually a big thing.”
The Wildcats focused on defending Spartans hitter Natasha Obradovic, and employed a double block to shield against her power. Their defense triggered their offense, and they worked together to set up Victoria Barney and Skyla Faught, who finished with 13 and 12 kills, respectively.
Las Vegas won all three sets in similar fashion, relying on timely serves and kills amid a sturdy defense. Semiah Arrington added six kills and four blocks, and Brooklyn Stone supplied 32 assists.
Arrington was pleased with the team’s performance.
“Right now, it’s state,” Arrington said. “I want to go all the way. … If we keep playing how we’re playing now, we (can) win it.”
Obradovic led the Spartans with 18 kills and 13 digs.
“We just kind of keyed in on her,” Miller said of Obradovic. “That was our gameplan, and it worked out.”
Palo Verde 3, Legacy 1 — At Palo Verde, Arien Fafard had seven kills, 27 assists and six digs to help the Panthers to a 25-16, 25-16, 25-17 win over the Longhorns.
Alyssa Hewitt had 10 kills and two blocks for Palo Verde (28-7), and Elizabeth Gutierrez and Kaila Yang added seven kills apiece. The Panthers play Las Vegas in a semifinal at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Eldorado.
Jazmyne Walker led Legacy (17-17) with 15 kills.
Rancho 3, Shadow Ridge 1 — At Faith Lutheran, Jan Duhaylunsgod recorded 30 assists, 16 digs and three aces, and Angelina Robles tallied 14 digs and seven kills to help the Rams take down the Mustangs 25-19, 25-23, 17-25, 25-22 in the Desert Region quarterfinals.
Gabriella Fernandez had nine digs and six aces, and Leah Miller put down 14 kills for Rancho (18-12), which faces Faith Lutheran (24-14) in a semifinal at 4 p.m. Thursday at Eldorado.
Shadow Ridge finished 19-17.
Faith Lutheran 3, Cheyenne 0 — At Faith Lutheran, Hailey Carroll passed out 17 assists and Maggie Skinner had 11 digs as the Crusaders advanced with a sweep of the Desert Shields 25-16, 25-10, 25-11.
Ellie Fried tallied 10 kills, and Anna Massari supplied four blocks for Faith Lutheran.
Cheyenne finished 8-20.