Local schools’ teams rack up wins

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Poston Butte's Chase Taylor (6) strips the ball from Corona del Sol's Cameron Brice (5) during the football game between Corona del Sol and Poston Butte on Friday, October 2, 2015.
Poston Butte’s Chase Taylor (6) strips the ball from Corona del Sol’s Cameron Brice (5) during the football game between Corona del Sol and Poston Butte on Friday, October 2, 2015.

Doug Conley Invitational Cross Country Meet

Corona’s boys team, led by junior runner Slade Sumners, finished second with 105 points, at the prestigious Doug Conley Invitational Elite event held Sept. 26 at Tempe’s Rolling Hills Golf course.

The boys team, who had won this event the past two years, was out run by Mesa Mountain View who took first place but the Aztecs beat out Brophy for second place.

Sumners, who had taken first the week before at the Ojo Rojo Invitational in Chandler, ran the three-mile course in 15:57.70 to take 10th place.

He was followed by fellow team mates, Graham Eversden, Lucas Ykema, Lincoln Johnson and Liam Kovatch who finished one right after the other in 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th place.

The last two runners for Corona were Tyler Thompson who finished 47th and Joshua Whitney at 69th.

The girls team took sixth place in the Elite event with senior Alexis Artiaga as the No. 1 runner for Corona to cross the finishing line taking home a medal for 18th place at 19:21.80.

Renee Payne was next in 22nd place, Mackenzie Harder at 24th, Riley Wright at 59th, Tanaeya Johnson at 84th and Mackenzie Burgess at 94th.

Other notables from the Doug Conley included Corona’s Colt Sample taking first place and Erick Lemus ninth in the Boys JV race, Tempe High School’s runners Danyella Miranda taking second and Daisy Lopez 14th in the Girls Invitational race and McClintock’s Tiana Baker taking first in the Girls JV race.

Corona Girls Volleyball

Corona’s volleyball team is hitting on all cylinders this fall after only losing one starter and returning 13 players, six of them starters from last season’s team.

With so many returning players and starters, coach Ben Maxfield’s biggest challenge may be getting all of his young talented players time on the court during matches.

Nevertheless, returning so many players has given Maxfield what all teams look for: depth and experience.

“I am pleased with where we are right now,” said Maxfield. “We have matured a lot the past couple seasons and are playing at a more consistent level.”

For instance, they won a five-set match against Centennial Sept. 10, after winning the first two sets but losing then the third and fourth sets 22-25 and 14-25.

“Centennial is a scrappy team and we battled to win the fifth set 15-13 and enjoy the victory,” said Maxfield. “Last year I’m not sure we would have pulled it off, but they have grown up a lot.”

Volleyball is one of the few sports where everyone on the court needs to contribute. Having so many returning players should give Maxfield the option to substitute players if the need arises.

“Our deep bench makes us very comfortable with almost anyone on the court together at any position,” said Maxfield.

The team is led, in addition to the four seniors, Hayden Warnock, Jaeden Hooker, Desiree Rodriguez and Danielle Sullivan, by junior setter Madi Reum, who averages 8.6 assists and 2.4 digs a game.

Corona averages almost 12 kills a set, 3.4 of them coming from sophomore outside hitter Brooke Nuneviller who has attacked the ball over 400 times resulting in kills close to 25% of the time so far this season.

Junior outside hitter Erica Ronda, who has committed to play beach volleyball at ASU, is next with 94 kills, then junior middle blocker Lauren Forte with 61 kills and middle blocker Warnock with 48.

“Brooke Nuneviller has been solid in her all-around play and despite knee problems, Lauren Forte has scored us a lot of points through her blocking and hitting,” said Maxfield.

Forte, who has committed to play volleyball at University of California Berkeley, leads the team in blocks with close to 40.

Warnock, who will be playing next fall at Cal State Northridge, is second with over 25 total blocks, while transfer student Hooker has 17 and junior middle blocker Jessica Murphy has 16.

“Jaeden Hooker has really helped us out this year with her athleticism and work ethic,” said Maxfield.

The Aztec player with the most digs is junior libero Camryn Tucker who has over 200 digs to date and averages over 4.3 digs a set. She is followed by Nuneviller with 4.0 digs a set and junior defensive specialist/outside hitter Logan Wallerstedt with 2.3 digs a set.

Nuneviller leads the team in aces with 26 followed by Isis Mitchell with 17. Corona’s sophomore backup setter Abby Meyer is averaging 7.3 assists and 2.3 digs a set.

Other members of the team include Emma West, Brooke O’Meara and Keelan Nelson.

The Aztecs, who sometimes lose focus and discipline on the court thus giving up easy points, are getting better as the season progresses according to Maxfield, was scheduled to open conference play at Chandler Sept. 30.

Corona, currently ranked No. 10 in Division I with a 10-5 record, was scheduled to play in the Nike Tournament of Champions Oct. 2-3 but will be at home for more conference matches Oct. 13, against Basha, and Oct. 15, at Perry High School.

Marcos de Niza Volleyball

The Padres, 3-0 in conference play and 9-7 overall, have an experienced squad with eight seniors, one junior, three sophomores and one freshman.

Marcos is averaging over 10 kills a set as a team with the brunt falling to the swinging arms of seniors Aubrey Boyles and Marissa Kyman who average over three kills each a set. Sophomore Justice Craig is averaging over two kills a set.

Sophomore Tatum Rohme is in her second year as the starting setter and is averaging over 8.4 assists a set. At over 6-foot, Rohme, who averages 1.6 digs and close to a block a game, currently has 26 aces.

Sophomore Sophia Ashmeade has nine aces after playing in only 19 sets while junior Evan Ippolito has six aces in 17 sets.

Freshman libero Katy Denham leads the team in digs with close to six digs a set followed by Kyman with five digs a set and Boyles with three digs a set. Senior Sarah Duncklee is averaging close to one dig per set.

Senior middle blocker Aurei King-Hill is the leading blocker with 28 solo blocks and 26 block assists so far this season. Senior Araya Jordon has 31 total blocks.

Other members of the team include seniors Briana Ruiz, Debahni Pettypool and Chloe Feniccchia.

The Padres are scheduled to play at Sunnyslope Sept. 29, at home Oct. 13 against Seton Catholic and at home Oct. 15 against Higley.

Corona Football

.The Aztecs hit a bump in the road last week after starting the season 4-0 and moving into the top 10 among Division II teams at the No. 6 spot when they lost 56-28 in a high-scoring game to Sandra Day O’Connor, Sept. 26.

The fireworks started soon after the 7 p.m. kickoff when the Eagles scored a touchdown to go up 7-0 on the first drive of the game.

Not to be outdone, Kobee Marion answered for the Aztecs with a touchdown when he returned the next kickoff to even the score 7-7, just three minutes into the game.

The excitement continued when Logan Hatton caused and recovered an Eagle fumble on the next possession. Unfortunately the Aztecs could not convert on a fourth down and had to turn over possession.

After the Eagles took possession, they scored their second touchdown, intercepted a Corona pass, and ended the first quarter within five yards of scoring their third touchdown.

The second quarter was much the same. The Eagles scored their third touchdown to go up 21-7 at the beginning of the second quarter.

Corona answered with a rushing touchdown by Cameron Brice to come within one score at 21-14.

The Eagles scored again before the quarter was half way over to go up 28-14.

Jacob Clemens scored a rushing touchdown two minutes later and Corona was once again down just one score at 28-21.

In less than two minutes, the Eagles scored once again go up and end the half 35-21.

In the second half, the Eagles wore the Aztecs defense down scoring three more touchdowns to Corona’s one rushing touchdown by Jacob Goodwin at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Both teams had similar first downs, 20 to 22, but the Eagles were more efficient scoring 56 points in only 51 plays while the Aztecs needed 64 plays to score 21 points if you consider Marion’s touchdown was a kickoff return.

The Eagle’s quarterback completed 18 of 22 passes for 421 yards scoring five of their eight touchdowns in the air causing the Aztec defense to chase receivers all over the field.

Corona did out rush the Eagles 257 to 136 yards but the Eagles only carried the ball 27 times spread out over mainly three players, one being their quarterback who rushed for 26 yards and two touchdowns.

Meanwhile the Aztecs carried the ball 40 times where Brice and Mason Carroll were the workhorses on offense each rushing for over 100 yards and carrying the ball 12 and 14 times each respectively.

The Aztecs, who drop to 4-1 and No. 12 in the Division II rankings, hope to regroup and continue their winning ways against Poston Butte at home Oct. 2. The Broncos, 0-5, will be looking for their first win in 2015.

Up next, Corona will play at Gilbert’s Campo Verde on Oct. 9 and then at home against Mesquite Oct. 16.

 

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