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10-year drought in badminton season finally ends with Aztecs nearing state championships

10-year drought in badminton season finally ends with Aztecs nearing state championships

Corona’s badminton staff took second place on the Firebird Invitational hosted my Chaparral Excessive Faculty, dropping solely to Perry Excessive Faculty. The Aztecs completed the common season with a 17-1 report and are ranked No. 2 behind Perry heading into the Division I state event. Staff consists of, from left, backside row, Mahima Mishra, Eileen Li, Hannah McCarley; center row, Anna Morrow, Danielle Mealer, Cassie Rials, Lexie Rangel; prime row: Coach Darren Ridge, Coach Colleen Ridge, Karthika Krishna, Katie Carroll, Brennan Agnew, Tatum Coble, Savanna Hair, Coach Marin Ridge. – Photograph courtesy Stacy Thomas

It has been 10 years since Corona’s badminton group had a 17-1 common season report and have been topped the 2008 5A State Champions.

This yr’s staff, because the No. 2 seed, will enter the DI state championship brackets Oct. 22 with the identical common 17-1 season document and a superb probability to play in the finals for the Aztec’s second state staff championship.

The Aztecs solely misplaced one workforce match through the common season. It was on Sept. 5, the fifth match of the season, towards the defending state champions, Perry Excessive Faculty. It was an in depth match with Corona dropping 5-Four.

“We went into the doubles matches tied with Perry, 3-3,” stated coach Darren Ridge.

The match winners are the gamers who win the most effective of three video games to 21 factors.

“We were tied 4-4 after our No.2 doubles team won their match and our No. 3 doubles team lost their match,” stated Ridge

“That left the result from our No. 1 doubles team match to determine the outcome of the total team match. Our team lost the first game of this deciding doubles match but then fought hard to come back and win the second game.”

“Unfortunately, Perry won the deciding last game and the overall team match, but we felt we were never out of it. We had a chance to win.”

Corona has been on a roll after taking second place on the Firebird Invitational hosted by Chaparral Excessive Faculty on Sept. 22. The Aztec have been undefeated the final six workforce matches profitable 39 singles or doubles matches and dropping solely six.

“As a team, we finished second at the Firebird Invitational to Perry but individually our No. 1 doubles team of Katie Carrolland Eileen Liwon the doubles tournament and our No. 1 singles player, Brennan Agnew, placed second,” stated Ridge.

“We are excited and are looking forward to both the singles/doubles and team state championships,” stated Ridge. “We came into the season wanting to finish the regular season in the top four which we accomplished. We are now working hard to get into the state title game.”

Carroll, Li, Agnew and Karthika Krishnaare the group’s prime 4 singles gamers in line with Ridge.

“These four players have been solid all season in singles winning the vast majority of their matches,” stated Ridge. “Anna Morrow, our No. 5 singles player, has been playing better lately as well which is very important to our overall team’s success.”

“Our No. 1 doubles team of Katie and Eileen have played exceptionally well as has our No. 2 doubles team of Karthika and Brennan, who have been solid all season,” stated Ridge. “Between those two doubles teams, they are 27-1. The only loss was Katie and Eileen’s 2-1 loss against Perry early in the season.”

Identical to tennis, badminton has particular person singles state championships and doubles state championships in addition to a separate staff championship.

Every faculty can solely have one single participant and one doubles workforce play in the person state championships that are scheduled for Oct. 19 and 20 at Independence Excessive Faculty.

“As we head into singles and doubles state play this week, Brennan Agnew will be our singles representative and Eileen Li and Katie Carroll will represent us in doubles,” stated Ridge.

The person championship seeds won’t be decided till, Oct. 17.

“We have a seeding meeting on Oct. 17 to determine the top eight seeds in singles and doubles,” stated Ridge. “At this point, I am pretty confident that we can get Brennan as the No. 2 singles seed and Eileen and Katie as the No. 1 doubles seed.”

The group championships would be the following week with the primary spherical and quarterfinals on Oct. 22 on the larger seed beginning at three:30. The semifinals will probably be on Oct. 24 at Chaparral Excessive Faculty beginning at 6 p.m. The finals will Oct. 25, once more at Chaparral beginning at 6 p.m.

Corona’s staff, because the No. 2 seed, won’t solely get a bye in the primary spherical however may also have the ability to host the primary day of staff competitors on Oct. 22.

At present Corona ought to play in the second spherical or quarterfinals towards the winner of the No. 7 seed Basha and No. 10 seed Desert Vista.

If all goes nicely in the quarterfinals and semifinals, the almost definitely group standing in Corona’s means would be the defending champions, Perry Excessive Faculty, who not solely gained the championship final yr however have been the runner-up group two occasions in the previous 4 earlier seasons.

“As far as meeting Perry in the team finals, we aren’t looking that far ahead,” stated Ridge. “We are taking each match as they come, focusing on playing our best every match. We can’t overlook anyone.”

“We’ve taken nothing for granted and come to play.  In the next two weeks we will find out if our hard work will get us where we want to end,” stated Ridge.

Cross Nation Photographs

Fourth Annual Titan Cross Nation Invitational, hosted by Chandler Prep, drew female and male runners from Tempe and Chandler faculties, together with Corona, Marcos and McClintock. – Billy Hardiman for Wrangler Information


Corona Volleyball

With solely three common season matches left, Corona’s volleyball staff took a couple of days off for fall break after a second-place tie on the Gilbert Invitational Oct. 5- 6.

The Aztecs, presently 24-12 general and ranked No. Four in the 6A division with a 10-Four (7-Zero part) document with solely three matches remaining in the common season, could also be peaking on the proper time.

“We are playing very well,” stated coach Ben Maxfield. “Our defense and ball control have been really good which allows us to run a varied offense.”

The Aztecs have a number of gamers who’re instrumental in the staff’s success together with three gamers who ought to simply go over 300 kills in the common season together with senior Mary Shroll and juniors Mady Nobleand Nicole Newlin

Shroll, with 252 kills in solely 70 units, is averaging three.6 kills a set plus she has 296 digs, third on the staff, and a complete of 32 blocks.

Shroll, one of many 4 seniors who might be honored on the final house recreation Oct.18 towards Desert Vista, needed to sit out a part of the season as a consequence of transferring guidelines.

“Although this has been her only season with us, Mary has had a tremendous positive impact on the program,” stated Maxfield.

“Her prior experience playing at a varsity level has helped our newer players adjust to the speed of the game.  She has great ball control and continues to get better at scoring points against a better block than she saw at the 2A level,” stated Maxfield. “Mary will be playing indoor and beach volleyball at Loyola Marymount.”

Noble is the kill chief with 295 kills, 2.Eight a set. She additionally leads the group in solo blocks with 18 and is second in complete blocks with 50.

“Mady is very smart with overpasses so she gets a lot of blocking kills,” stated Maxfield. “Instead of trying to pound the overpass, she’ll swipe it to an open spot for a kill.”

In her first season enjoying varsity, Newlin has 292 kills or three kills a set, 29 aces, 42 blocks and 180 digs.

“Nicole has had a great season so far,” stated Maxfield. “She hits the ball really hard and has grown a lot in her volleyball IQ.  She should be a dominating force for us the rest of this season and her senior year.”

Serving robust will get an opposing group out of their consolation zone or out of system. Corona has a number of gamers who’re good at serving together with senior Kacie McCainand junior Ashley Hayden.

McCain leads the staff in aces with 39 incomes 162 factors on her serve. She might be honored throughout senior night time.

“Kacie is an incredibly hard worker and a great teammate,” stated Maxfield. “She has embraced and excelled in her role on the team.”

“Ashley has been serving very well, consistently keeping the ball in play and knocking the other teams out of system,” stated Maxfield.

Along with Noble, junior Sadie McRaeand senior Jenna Bolenaare two of the Aztecs greatest blockers. McRae leads the workforce in complete blocks with 60 whereas Bolena has 46 complete blocks.

“Sadie continues to improve on her blocking,” stated Maxfield. “She has made great strides in her footwork which allows her to form a more solid block.”

“Jenna has filled in nicely into the middle blocker position and is a great mentor for the younger middles,” stated Maxfield. “She is a lot of fun on and off the court. Although she has not committed anywhere yet she will play collegiately.”

Junior Becca Morsehas performed in each recreation because the libero for the Aztecs. With 803 digs in 105 units or 7.6 digs a set, she is the mainstay of the protection.

“Becca is amazing,” stated Maxfield. “She reads the other team’s hitters very well and keeps a ton of balls in play that would normally be a point for our opponents.”

The setter is the quarterback of a volleyball group and Corona is fortunate to have two nice setters: junior Ashley Hayden and freshman Anita Babic.

Each setters have over 500 assists thus far this season and are sometimes on the courtroom on the similar time.

“Ashley continues to improve on running her court,” stated Maxfield. “She sets a very nice ball which allows our hitters to get a lot of kills while Anita gets better every time she steps on the court. She is learning to embrace the role of being a leader on the court.”

“We ran a 6-2 the entire Gilbert Invitational tournament,” stated Maxfield

A 6-2 rotation system in volleyball is the place the participant setting the ball is enjoying from a back-row place. The back-row setter all the time set the ball, making the opposite setter solely a hitter when she or he is entrance row.

Senior Kalessa Sounartwill be honored on the final house recreation for her contribution to the group’s success on and off the courtroom.

“Kalessa has bounced back well from an early injury,” stated Maxfield. “She is a really pushed participant who works onerous to raised herself and her teammates.  She is popular with everybody and though she has not dedicated to play volleyball anyplace but, she plans to play in school subsequent season

The Aztecs will need to proceed enjoying properly the final three video games of the common season to take care of their No. Four rating which can hold them from having to play in the Convention Play-In Event Oct. 25 for the No. 9 via No. 24 seeded groups.

The primary spherical of the 6A state volleyball championships begins Oct. 30 on the greater seed. The second spherical is Nov. 1, as soon as once more on the greater seed earlier than the semifinals, which will probably be held on Nov. 5 at Highland Excessive Faculty.

The finals this season will probably be Nov. 7 at Properly Fargo Area scheduled for Eight p.m.

Marcos de Niza Volleyball

Presently ranked No. 5 in the 4A Division, the Padres have a 21-Eight, 6-1 part, report with 4 matches left in the common season.

The workforce has 4 seniors and three sophomores which are having an influence on the Padres success this season.

Sophomore Hailey Whiteleads the workforce in kills with 210 or 2.5 kills a set adopted by seniors Elyse Olsonwith 162 kills, Jenifer Lauerwith 144 kills and Katy Johnsonwith 141 kills.

Sophomore Olivia Craigleads the staff in service aces with 46 aces adopted by Lauer with 40 aces and sophomore Audrey Mayerwith 35 aces.

Senior Katy Denhamleads the group in digs with 417 or over 5 digs a set and in serve obtain with 428 or 5.Four serve receptions a set.

Craig and Lauer share the setting duties, every with near 1,000 ball dealing with makes an attempt and over 300 assists thus far this season.

White is by far one of the best blocker on the group with an impressive 41 solo blocks and 6 block assists for a complete of 47 blocks in 83 units.

Marcos was scheduled to play their final house recreation Oct. 16 towards Poston Butte earlier than enjoying at Arcadia on Oct. 17, at Washington on Oct. 22 and at Seton Catholic on Oct. 23.

If the Padres can stay one of many prime eight groups in the 4A Convention, they won’t should play in the Convention Play-In Event Oct. 25 however will be capable of begin the 4A state event enjoying at residence in the primary spherical on Oct. 30.

In the event that they win in the primary spherical, the quarterfinals might be on the larger seed on Nov. 1. The semifinals might be Nov. three and the semifinals Nov. 5, each at McClintock Excessive Faculty.