Tucson High girls volleyball team picked up a confidence boost in winning the Lion's Den Invitational this past Saturday (Oct. 12) at Marana Mountain View High School. Tucson defeated Campo Verde in the title match (one set to 25) -- 25-20 -- after the team's split two best-of-three matches earller in the tournament.
Tucson proved itself in the 24-team tournament that included 20 schools from southern Arizona. Tucson is ranked 9th overall in the most current D-II power-point rankings. Being able to hold its own against Campo Verde, at present No. 2 in the ppr, lends credence that as many as a half a dozen teams are in the hunt for the D-II crown.
The top girls team in Tucson is Ironwood Ridge and Tucson isn't far behind. They met in their season opener with Ironwood Ridge prevaiing, 3-2. Campo Verde is the best D-II team from the Valley's eastside. Campo Verde advanced to the semifinals of the Chandler House of Payner Invite, the top 10 at the Westwood TOC and the final of the Lion's Den. Sunnyslope is arguably the best in D-II team on the Valley's westside. Sunnyslope reached the final four of the Westwood TOC and won the Goldwater Invite 10 days ago.
It's fair to say the top team in the current power-point rankings -- Paradise Valley -- and No. 4 Verrado have not been challenged as often as Ironwood Ridge, Campo Verde and Tucson. An indication s the average opponent rating, which is negative for both schools. Still, PV and Verrado have defeated every ppr opponent to date. They get a chance to prove their mettle the final two weeks of the regular season. Verrado visits Sunnyslope on Oct. 22. Paradise Valley hosts Sunnyslope on Oct. 24 and hosts Verrado on Oct. 29.
MATCHES OF NOTE THIS WEEK: Tuesday Oct. 15 -- Mountain Pointe at Gilbert, Basha at Hamilton and Seton at Safford. Wednesday Oct. 16 -- Horizon and Xavier - at rematch of their power-ranking match a couple weeks ago won by Horizon, 3-2. Tucson at Salpointe, Gilbert at Desert Vista and Hamilton at Mlountain Pointe. Oct. 17 -- Campo Verde at Queen Creek.
DIG PINK MATCHES (benefitting breast cancer awareness) COMING UP: On Wednesday Oct. 16, Mesa High takes on Westwood in its annual Dig Pink match at Jackrabbit Gym. The following week -- Thursday Oct. 24 its Mountain Pointe visting Desert Vista in their long-standing Dig Pink night to help raise money for breast cancer.