VOLLEYBALL: CDO survives epic battle with Cienega

August 30, 2017 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Jade Romine (Andy Morales/AZPreps365.com)


Canyon del Oro survived an epic battle with Cienega Wednesday night in a match one would expect to see come playoff time – but that’s still two months away. The Dorados won the match 25-21, 25-22, 26-28 and 26-24 but it was far more difficult than the 3-1 margin indicates.

Canyon del Oro (1-0) built an 18-8 lead in the first set only to see Cienega (0-1) cut the lead down to 22-18. The Dorados went on to win the set 25-21 but the lead, and the comeback, served as an omen of what was to come.

The Dorados sprinted out to a 13-6 lead in the second set and it was looking like the Bobcats were ready to fold but a 14-4 run put Cienega on top 20-17 and then 22-18. It looked like the Dorados were ready to fold. Not quite.

Typical of most runs in volleyball, a service error put the Dorados back in business and three subsequent kills from Jade Romine helped pace Canyon del Oro to a 23-22 lead. Eve Pearson put down another score and the Dorados completed a 7-0 run to close out the second set 25-22.

Down 2-0, Cienega matched Canyon del Oro point-for-point in the third set until both squads found themselves tied 22-22 (of course). Pearson put the Dorados up 23-22 and then Zelaya Loop scored to make it 24-22. It was far from over.

A service error was followed by a net violation and the set was tied once more at 24-24. The Bobcats survived two match points and Holly Stutz put Cienega up 25-24 in the process. It was still far from over.

Loop put down an emphatic kill and Jordan Mapp followed with another to put Canyon del Oro up 26-25. No, not over.

Cienega survived another match point and Aly Brauchla paced the Bobcats to a 28-26 win to force another set. The Bobcats went on to take a 23-18 lead in the fourth set and it looked like the match was heading to the maximum but the Dorados responded again.

Romine had a kill and then an ace to cut the lead down to 23-20 and then Pearson scored again to make it 23-21. Amy Brilles came up with a block in the middle and the Dorados scored again to tie the set up 23-23.

The Bobcats were unable to get the ball over and the Dorados were sitting on their fourth match point only to see it slip away again. The fifth chance, however, proved to be the one and two uneventful scores gave Canyon del Oro the set 26-24 for the 3-1 win.

Canyon del Oro made it to the 4A semifinal round last year while Cienega reached the first round of the 5A playoffs. The two teams will obviously never meet in the playoffs under the current conference configuration but they did play each other twice last year thanks to a match in the Catalina Foothills tournament.

Cienega is headed to the Goldwater Invitational scheduled for this Friday and Saturday while Canyon del Oro will visit Tucson (0-2) on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Cienega standout Ashley Robinson led all players with 20 kills and Emily Robinson added nine. Natalie Lubben had 16 assists while Annabelle Somoza had 14. Romine led Canyon del Oro with 17 kills and Pearson had 11. Mapp had 28 assists.