Queen Creek Volleyball Advances to State Tournament

3 weeks ago Andrew Luberda 0

It didn’t appear possible earlier in the season, but the Queen Creek volleyball team got better as the season went along and now appears primed to make a run in the 6A State Championship tournament, which begins on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

The Bulldogs qualified by winning a play-in match as the No. 9-seed, defeating No. 24 North High School last Thursday, 3 – 0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-12).

Queen Creek entered the game against the Mustangs the taller, more powerful and more experienced team, and the results reflected as much, as expected. The Bulldogs prevented North from getting any thoughts of pulling the upset.

“I think matches like this are always hard to play,” Queen Creek head coach Erica Crismon said afterwards. “I’m definitely proud of (our team) for pushing through, for staying strong, and making sure we took care of business on our side.”

Queen started its season with six losses in its first nine matches but turned it around near the end, winning six of nine, including three-straight to end the season.

“Having a few more wins under our belts helps our confidence,” answered Crismon, when asked what changed from the start of the season to now, the start of the playoffs. “(Moving) to 6A was more of a mental game for our girls.”

The Bulldogs, who finished the 2017 season as the 5A State Runners-up, finally let their experience from last season benefit them as this season progressed. Eleven of the 12 players on this year’s roster were members of last year’s team, including senior OPP Kate Grimmer, a BYU commit, and junior OH Jaelyn Hodge, a University of Arizona commit.

“We’ve had an up and down season,” Grimmer told CountyLinePreps.com. “From last year, I think we’ve had a lot of experience just playing high-level volleyball, so I think that brings good experience, especially with (our) returners.”

Queen Creek hopes to draw on that experience as the playoffs approach.

“Hopefully, we’ll do what we did last year,” Grimmer said. “We turned it on during the playoffs.

Crismon has similar hopes.

“This team, both last year and this year, we’ve seemed to go on a run at the end and get better, so hopefully that’s the case this year too,” she said.

Up next:  No. 9 Queen Creek visits No. 8 Sandra Day O’Connor in the first-round of the 6A state playoffs on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 6:30 p.m.

For full bracket, please visit here.