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#AZHSVB: Nighthawks and Lancers chasing state titles

TUCSON (KVOA) – Will this finally be the year for Ironwood Ridge?

The Nighthawks are the No. 1 seed in the Conference 5A girls’ volleyball state tournament. Ironwood Ridge (14-0) will host Arcadia (12-5) Tuesday night in the quarterfinals.

Bill Lang’s squad is trying to win the first state championship in program history. They are 0-2 in state final appearances (2004, 2014).

Ironwood Ridge has lost just three sets all season.

Senior Lauren Barberii is the Nighthawks top hitter. She averages four kills per set. She also leads the team in digs. Setter Sophia Gomez is averaging nine assists per set.

VIDEO: Andrea Owens return has Salpointe Catholic back in the mix for a state title

Salpointe Catholic on the other hand is looking to win their third state title in the last five years.

The Lancers (15-2) are the No. 2 seed in Conference 4A and will welcome in American Leadership Academy-Queen Creek (10-4) tonight for a quarterfinal showdown.

Salpointe Catholic won state crowns in 2016 and 2017. The Lancers lost in the state championship match in 2018.

Heather Moore-Martin welcomed back Andrea Owens this season. The senior was one of the Lancers top hitters on the 2017 and 2018 state finalist squads but she left the program after just 11 matches in 2019.

Owens, who is averaging four kills per set, signed to play collegiately at North Texas last week.

Senior setter Brandy Kishbaugh has 54 services aces this season while averaging nine assists per set.

Both matches start at 6:30 p.m.

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David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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