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Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Hamilton reaches D-I volleyball semis, sweeps CentennialNov 1, 2012
Hamilton senior captain Lauren Jacobsen promised her coach the Huskies would not come out slow in their quarterfinalvolleyball match like they did on Tuesday in their first-round match.
Jacobsen and the rest of the Huskies were true to their word on Thursday night. No. 2 seed Hamilton notched the first set 25-10 and that set the stage for a sweep of No. 7 Centennial. The other scores were 25-19 and 25-11 in Division I play at Dale Hancock Gymnasium on the Hamilton High campus.
"She said it wouldn't happen again," Hamilton coach Sharon Vanis said, referring to Hamilton's 25-22 win over Mountain Pointe in its first set on Tuesday. "We came out and played one of our best games right away."
Hamilton ran its overall record on the season to 38-4. The Huskies face No. 3 Xavier, a three-set winner over No. 11 Desert Vista in another Thursday quarterfinal, in Saturday's 4 p.m. semifinal at Mesquite High. Saturday's other semifinal at Mesquite pits No. 1 Horizon against No. 4 Mountain Ridge. Centennial concluded a very good season with a 24-9 mark. Hamilton has faced Xavier three times this season, winning them all -- one a seeding match (3-2) the other two in invitationals.
Hamilton was sharp in all phases out of the gate, establishing its seed and prowess from the get-go. The Huskies had plenty of contributions, led by middleblocker Brittany Thomas (13 kills) and outside Jacobsen (12 kills). Throw in six kills apiece from middle hitter Emilee Dawson and outside Cedar Young and the firepower was too overwhelming for defensive-minded Centennia to neutralize. Roxanne Lake had 34 assists and Alexa Saba eight digs.
Centennial had a chance to make it a match with a much stronger second set. The Coyotes jumped out to 4-1 lead and managed to stay even at 11. Still within striking distance to take the second set down 18-16, Jacobsen went to work down the stretch with a trio of kills among Hamilton's final seven points. Hamilton had a 22-16 lead pared to 22-19, prompintg Vanis to use a timeout. Centennial came out with a service error, hitting error and an ace from Jacobsen to end the set. Centennial was never in the third set and the match ended less than hour after it began.
Hamilton played Centennial earlier in the season in a tournament and prevailed in two sets. Hamilton had more production available this time with Young playing rather than sitting lasat month with an injury.
"She was gimpy the first time we played so they hadn't seen her so it was probably a surprise,' Vanis said. "We were strong tonight pin to pin and our middles played very well. They battled us tough in the second game. the third game we controlled pretty well. We got a much better game from (middle) Tianna (Matthews). She didn't play well on Tuesday, but was solid tonight."
Matthews had a couple kills and block early in the third set to helped Hamilton keep momentum and begin to pull away. Matthews run of plays helped take a 3-2 lead to 10-3.
Vanis was also glad to have played the first two matches on Hamilton's court, afforded it by earning one of the top four seeds.
"As good as the teams are in the quarterfinals, we were fortunate to have the home games," Vanis said. "It really helped.