Sports Notebook...with Brian Gomez
Corona bounced in early exit from volleyball playoffs

By Brian Gomez

Make it 13 years. The Corona del Sol High School girls volleyball team’s state championship drought continues.

In a quick but painful ousting that cast a shadow on a third straight Central Region title, Corona was eliminated from the Class 5A state tournament last month after suffering a 25-12, 25-20 loss against Gilbert.

The Aztecs (24-10) tied the match four times in the second game, but couldn’t recover from an 8-1 run that turned Gilbert’s 13-12 edge into a 20-13 cushion. Corona committed three hitting errors during the burst.

“I don’t think we were focused when we first entered the gym,” Corona coach Janna Corbett said. “We just looked scared. We lost the intensity and the motivation.”

Corona loses five seniors in outside hitter Kellie Phillips, defensive specialists Kelli Garrett and Laura Boos and middle blockers Aubrey Pancratz and Shauna Niemann.

It returns three starters in junior opposite Lisa Helmers, junior setter Joy Peschman and sophomore outside hitter Michelle Hein. Also back are junior defensive specialist Shaylen Walters, freshman middle blocker Sara Bowden and sophomore outside hitters Adriene Busch and Maya Janousek.

Pancratz called Corona’s season a success, despite the early exit.

“We didn’t end very well, but it’s better than last year,” said Pancratz, the Central Region Player of the Year. “We went farther, so that’s always an improvement.”

Corona sports update

The Corona boys basketball team finished 1-2 in the season-opening Mesa High Thanksgiving Invitational, beating Mesa Desert Ridge and losing to No. 3 Phoenix St. Mary’s and Mountain Pointe. The Aztecs host Avondale Westview at 7 p.m. Dec. 7.

Led by guards Amy Rosenkrantz and Sy Janousek, the Corona girls basketball team is off to a 6-0 start. The No. 4 Aztecs have outscored their opponents by an average of 17.8 points. They return to action at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at Westview.

The Corona boys and girls soccer teams will compete in the Fiesta Soccer Classic Dec. 6-10. The girls are ranked No. 1 in the state’s preseason poll.

The Corona wrestling team hosts a multi-meet at 4 p.m. Dec. 8 against Peoria, Yuma and Glendale Ironwood.

Tennis team makes nationals

A Chandler-based USA League Tennis team competed in the Senior National Championships this fall in Palm Springs.

Team members included Kyrene Corridor residents Carey Wilcox, Dennis Robson, Austin Mason, Orrin McCausland, Jacob Demoss, Gary Porter, Rich Taylor and Steve Dzielak.

Lacrosse anyone?

The Kyrene/Corona Lacrosse Club, which competes in the Arizona Youth Lacrosse League, is looking for players and coaches for its upcoming spring season.

Players must be from Corona or Pueblo, Aprende or Kyrene middle schools. The club needs former players from the area to coach the teams.

For more information, contact Cliff Prausa at (602) 738-9377 or tempelacrosse@aol.com.