Cienega over Catalina Foothills 3-0

April 18, 2023 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

(Andy Morales/AZPreps365)

No. 5 Cienega beat No. 14 Catalina Foothills 3-0 Tuesday night on the road to improve to a perfect 13-0 in power-ranking matches. The defending 5A state champion will host No. 11 Ironwood Ridge on Thursday night for the 5A Southern Region title but the Bobcats are playing to remain perfect with the higher seeds hosting the state playoff rounds all the way through the semifinals.

The Falcons are now 10-5 on the year after the loss and the program has a very difficult end to the regular season with 6A No. 9 Tucson (11-2), Ironwood Ridge and 6A No. 12 Rincon/UHS (7-5) left in the regular season. There are enough power points there to be seeded high enough to host a Conference Play-In game on May 2 but also enough difficulty to shift the program to the bottom half of the play-in field.

The first set went back and forth until Cienega pulled away to a 24-18 lead but the Falcons scored five straight points to cut the lead down to 24-23. The Bobcats took the first set 25-23 on a lift viiolation to hold off the Falcon comeback. Cienega jumped out to a 23-11 lead in the second set and the Bobcats closed it out 25-14 to go up 2-0. The third set proved more difficult with both teams playing to a 20-20 tie but the Bobcats closed the set on a 5-1 run to take it 25-21.

Unofficially, Caiden Mott picked up 37 assists for Cienega and he spread the ball out evenly between Aiden Keen (12 kills), Mason Tippett (10), Tariq Denetso (8) and Elijah Rayman (8). For Catalina Foothills, London Dyjak had eight assists, Jacob Martinez had nine kills and Cole Revis had five.