Corona del Sol tops Xavier Prep in 5 sets

October 12, 2022 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Corona's Julia Owens (10) prepares for her first assist of the evening (71 total for the match) vs. Xavier Prep. (Azpreps365 photo)

There was nothing easy about 6A #1 Corona del Sol volleyball keeping its perfect power-ranking record intact on Wednesday night.

The Aztecs managed to weather their first five-set match of the season - courtesy of a game and ninth-ranked Xavier Prep. Scores were 25-21, 28-26, 23-25, 23-25 and 15-6 at Corona's Larry Hughes Court.

"Returning off fall break you never know how it's going to be," Corona del Sol coach Ben Maxfield said. "They scouted us well, and were able to take away some of our tendencies. It was a good to have a match that we were pushed to five sets."

In Corona's previous 11 power-ranking matches, 10 were sweeps and the other a 3-1 triumph.

Corona (12-0 power-ranking matches) boasts several threats on the attack. The Aztecs were led by the usuals in that department -- seniors Kierstyn Barton (29 kills) and Emma Lomigora (22 kills). Sophomore Alyssa Aguayo added 13 kills. Defensively freshman Erin Clark led with 30 digs. Barton and Aguayo checked in with 21 digs apiece.

After Xavier evened the match with tight wins in sets three and four, Corona made sure the fifth would not go that way. The Aztecs bolted to a 7-1 lead. Three of the seven points were aces served by Maggie Beauer (1) and Aguayo (2). Xavier pulled within 8-5, but Corona's attack the rest of the set was too much. Barton and Beauer had two kills each and Aguayo finished the match with a kill.

Xavier Prep (7-6 prm) began the season with lacking experience at the varsity level. Coach Lamar-Renee Bryant is pleased with the progress that still has the Gators among the top 10 team in the 6A power rankings.

"We're getting better," Bryant said. "We're making teams uncomfortable, and still displaying Xavier's never-give-up attitude."

Xavier has its shares of solid hitters. Four collected at least eight kills. Leading the Gators -Vivian Hickman (20 kills), Finley Workman (10), Elle McCreery and Camila Cornejo-Farmer eight each.

Both schools play again Thursday night. Xavier visits Basha (Premier Region) and Corona del Sol (Central Region) travels to Desert Vista. Xavier defeated Basha in their first region meeting and ditto Corona  del Sol with Desert Vista.