Citizen Staff Writers and Freelance
HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP
The Sunnyside High School boys volleyball team is off to its best start ever.
It didn’t seem to matter much Tuesday as Ironwood Ridge beat the visiting Blue Devils 3-1 3-1 (25-19, 20-25, 25-18, 25-15) on Tuesday night.
“We are building a program at Sunnyside, but at the same time it’s not as strong as other programs,” Sunnyside coach Amanda Larriva said. “We don’t have the 6-foot-5 kids. I don’t think there is a kid that is 6-foot-5 at Sunnyside High School. Having multiple kids on one team that are good players and taller than my boys makes an enormous difference.”
While Ironwood Ridge was able to beat Sunnyside on Tuesday, the recent resurrection of the Blue Devils isn’t going unnoticed.
“I know we didn’t come into the match confident because . . . Sunnyside beat Ironwood Ridge last year,” Nighthawks coach Bill Lang said. “(Ironwood Ridge players) also knew the record that Sunnyside had (coming in).”
Sunnyside fell to 6-4 on the season, its best 10-match record, which is leading to optimism the Blue Devils could make their first-ever boys volleyball state playoff appearance.
Ironwood Ridge went on a 10-6 run to close out Game 1 but Sunnyside responded in the second game, jumping out to a 10-5 lead and holding on after the Nighthawks closed to 17-16.
“I think we were good at the right time to score points but overall I felt that we were on our heels the whole night,” Lang said. “I think they were doing a great job defensively, digging a lot of balls, touching a lot of balls but Sunnyside did a great job.”
The Nighthawks closed out the third game after going on a 9-3 run and jumped to a 4-0 lead in the fourth game and never looked back for a 25-15 win.
“I thought with the exception of the final nine or 10 points, I thought Sunnyside was in control of the match for most of the night,” Lang said.
Sierra Vista Buena 3, Canyon del Oro 1 (25-15, 25-22, 25-27, 25-18): The Dorados had a difficult time containing Jesse Rossman, who led Buena with 23 kills along with three aces, three digs and one block.
Cholla 3, Santa Rita 2 (21-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-18, 15-10): After dropping the first two games, the Chargers found their rhythm behind Miguel Arandules, who finished with 19 kills, six digs and three aces. Cholla’s Michael Luna followed with 15 kills while Luis “Luigi” Hodgers had 46 assists.
There was a scoring barrage between Tanque Verde and Patagonia on Tuesday.
Tanque Verde won 33-15 behind Lauren Pernu, who hit for the cycle going 5 for 5, scoring five runs and driving in seven RBIs.
Tanque Verde scored 20 runs in the first inning.
Sierra Vista Buena 8, Sunnyside 2: Buena’s Meghan McIntosh struck out 20 batters and gave up one hit, a 2-run home run in the second inning to Brianna Romero.
Desert View 6, Marana 4: Saby Romero got the Jaguars on the right track with a 2-run home run in the first inning.
Tucson High baseball coach Oscar Romero says he is hoping to bring “the tradition of excellent baseball to Cherry Field.”
With the year-long renovation of Tucson High’s home park completed over the winter, Romero put together the 16-team Cherry Field Memorial Classic, a tournament inviting some of the best high school baseball teams from the southwest to Tucson.
The event runs Wednesday through Saturday.
This year’s field includes three area teams: Tucson High, Sabino and Marana.
There are also highly-regarded teams from California (Santa Barbara San Marcos High and Chico Pleasant Valley), one team from Idaho (Sand Point High), one team from Nevada (Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, ranked No. 1 in the nation in some preseason polls), eight teams from Colorado (Arvada West, Centennial Bear Creek, Littleton Chatfield, Littleton Columbine, Aurora Grandview, Lakewood, Arvada Pomona and Arvada Ralston Valley) and one team from Canada (Alberta’s W.R. Myers High School).
The tournament features pool play games Wednesday and Thursday and bracket play starting Friday. Games each day will be played at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Rincon/University 7, Salpointe 1: The Rincon/University baseball team improved its record to 8-6-1 on the season after defeating Salpointe 7-1 at Rincon on Tuesday afternoon.
Freshman Zach Smutzer went 3-for-3 scoring two runs and two RBIs. He was on base in all four plate appearances.
Sportswriters Raymond Suarez and Geoff Grammer contributed.