Canyon del Oro over Ironwood Ridge 3-2

March 6, 2023 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

CDO standouts Kylie Strang and Abbey Garner. (Andy Morales/AZPreps365)

First-year head coach Stuart Sherman has Canyon del Oro off to a 2-1 in start, including a 3-2 victory over Ironwood Ridge at home Monday. The victory is the first for the program over the Nighthawks in five tries dating back to the inaugural 2018 season.

Ironwood Ridge started out with a victory from the fifth flight with Alexandra Cutting and Elizabeth Semon coming back from a 16-21 loss in the first set to beat Emma Brown and Kaydence Wren 21-17 and 15-13 the rest of the way to put the Nighthawks up 1-0.

The fourth flight came much quicker with Brianna Craig and Ameila Reinholz putting Ironwood Ridge up 2-0 with a 21-19, 21-8 win over Iliana Coulter and Liana Felix.

Canyon del Oro got things going in the third flight with Alexandra Jacome and Mikayla Martinez beating Casandra Davis and Addison Handa 19-21, 21-15, 15-12 and then Madison Navarrete and Alina Nunez beat Kristina Brei and Ameila Cutting 21-14, 21-18 to tie the match up 2-2.

The first flight went the distance with Canyon del Oro standouts Abbey Garner and Kylie Strang pulling out a 25-23, 15-21, 15-13 win over Elli Meinke and Melanie Merrill for the 3-2 win.

Ironwood Ridge is now 0-2 on the year with Xavier Prep (4-1) visiting on Wednesday, March 8. Xavier Prep has won eight state championships in the first ten years of the sport but the Gators fell to O’Connor in the Division I state championship match last year. The Nighthawks opened up this year with a 5-0 loss to O’Connor. Longtime Ironwood Ridge indoor and beach volleyball coach Bill Lang has a history of scheduling at the highest level and this year has proven to be no different.

Lang is assisted by Jerry Azares, Aunesty Jantz and Courtney Blocher Landers. Jantz was a two-time Southern Arizona Indoor Player of the Year under Lang at Ironwood Ridge and Landers was the 2000 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year with Valley Christian before moving over to play indoor volleyball for ASU.

Sherman, a former Air Force standout, is assisted by former Dorado Jillian Kniffen and former Amphitheater indoor standout and University of Arizona beach standout Taylor Lane. The Dorados will travel to Goodyear on Wednesday to play Estrella Foothills (4-0).