SUNRISE REGION: Wildcats top Coronado, advance to region final

Las Vegas High is well aware that it takes three sets to win a match.

After edging Basic 3-2 in the Sunrise Region quarterfinals, the Wildcats found out the same thing in Thursday’s semifinal.

Desirae Lair had 12 kills and six aces to help Las Vegas top Coronado 25-23, 27-25, 14-25, 25-20 to reach the Wildcats’ first region final in five years.

“It’s not over until somebody takes the third game,” Lair said. “We know that every game is a fresh start. We came back thinking, it’s 0-0 and we just need to play as a team right here.”

Tiffany Jackson had 32 assists and eight kills for Las Vegas (21-5), which got 17 digs apiece from Katie Mathews and Nina White.

Mattie Ventling had seven kills, and Marissa Lair added seven kills and five blocks for the Wildcats.

“I’ve been in the varsity program for four years, and we’ve never passed the second round of playoffs,” Lair said. “I feel absolutely amazing.”

The Cougars came roaring back in the third set behind Brooke Garlick, who finished with 12 kills and two blocks.

But the Wildcats rebounded, jumping to a 6-2 lead in the fourth en route to the victory.

“This has been a goal, making the regional final, for these seniors. Every year they’ve been talking about it,” Las Vegas coach Sue Thurman said. “But dreams happen to people who go make them happen. They don’t just happen. We won two games, and then we didn’t work hard to earn points.”

And Coronado made some great adjustments.

“Our defensive efforts in the fourth game were some of the best I’ve seen all season,” Thurman said. “They just wanted it. They knew they had to do everything they could to make it happen on the court.”

Ku’ulei Piena had eight kills and 14 digs for Coronado (21-14), and Berkeley Oblad supplied eight kills and two digs.

The Cougars’ Hailey Schulz distributed 23 assists.

Green Valley 3, Silverado 0 — Nikki Drost had 19 kills, 15 digs and four aces to help the Gators blitz the Skyhawks 25-17, 25-9, 25-20 and advance to face Las Vegas in today’s region final at 7 p.m. at Legacy.

Sommer King had seven kills for Green Valley (28-6), and Julie Dramise added five kills, four blocks and two aces.

Alexa Drost supplied 10 digs, and Jenna Swaffer dished out 32 assists for the Gators.

Kayla Agae paced Silverado (16-9) with nine kills, 16 digs and two blocks, and Morgan Little contributed 11 assists.

Ku’uipo Brown had 19 digs for the Skyhawks.

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