Anthem Boulder Creek is the sixth-seeded team in the boys volleyball state tournament and received a first-round bye. When coach Troy Dueling saw the potential opponent in Saturday afternoon’s (May 10) second round, he cringed a bit.
“Of all the second-round matchups you could have, this one probably would be the most difficult,’’ he said.
The team to which he was referring was No. 11 seed Phoenix Brophy Prep.
Boulder Creek had played Brophy three times this season, losing in an early tournament and then defeating the Broncos twice in four sets each.
“They are a very good team,’’ Dueling said. “They are well-coached, they pass the ball extremely well and they have some of the best middle players around.’’
Brophy swept No. 22 seed Sierra Vista Buena in Saturday’s opening round at Boulder Creek, then came back to face the Jaguars a few hours later.
Boulder Creek won the first set 25-23, dropped the second by the same score and came back to grab the third 25-19 after Brophy scored the first five points. The momentum from that third set carried over into the fourth, and Boulder Creek won again 25-19 to win the match.
Boulder Creek advances to the next round and will travel to face third-seeded Gilbert Highland on Tuesday (May 12) at 7 p.m.
In the third set, Boulder Creek also had a 14-10 deficit, then scored six straight points to take a lead it would not relinquish again.
“That run was big for us,’’ Dueling said. “We were starting to take control of the tempo, and then it carried over to that fourth game.’’
Senior Cody Williams played a strong all-around game for the Jaguars, while Elijah Mowry, Quentin Campbell and Ryne Benson also had their moments.
Brophy’s big middle man, 6-foot-6 senior Billy Andrew, dominated the net at times. Cooper Munhall, Andrew Lincoln and libero Carson Flood gave stellar efforts to keep the Broncos in contention.