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Prescott boys volleyball advances to state for 1st time
Prep Boys Volleyball

Prescott's Paul Kinach lines up a kill as the Badgers hosted Liberty in a Arizona Interscholastic Association State Volleyball Play-in game Thursday, May 3, 2018 in Prescott. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)
Photo by Les Stukenberg.

Prescott's Paul Kinach lines up a kill as the Badgers hosted Liberty in a Arizona Interscholastic Association State Volleyball Play-in game Thursday, May 3, 2018 in Prescott. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Third-year Badgers best Liberty in marathon home state play-in match

PRESCOTT — The No. 13-ranked Prescott boys’ volleyball team defeated No. 20 Liberty, 3-2, in an epic AIA 5A state play-in match Thursday night at the dome gym, handing the third-year Badgers program its first-ever trip to the state tournament.

The Badgers, who placed third in the competitive five-team Phoenix region this season after going winless in power-point matches in 2017, improved to 11-6 overall in such matches this spring. Liberty of the West Valley region finished its 2018 season at 9-9.

Prescott beat Liberty in a marathon thriller by the scores of 25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 23-25, 16-14. “It was absolutely crazy,” Badgers coach Josiah Ramirez said.

Junior setter Cole Fernandez registered three kills, three blocks, 11 digs, 38 assists and two service aces in quarterbacking the Prescott offense. Outside hitter Harris Temple tallied 14 kills, six blocks and eight digs. Defensively, Ryan Dalton notched nine blocks. Dallin Jex added a whopping 16 kills and 23 digs.

Coltin Farnsworth provided the match-winning ace serve for Prescott, and he tacked on 36 digs and an assist.

“It is pretty phenomenal,” Ramirez said of his team’s season. “The guys have been working really hard. I don’t know how we did it [Thursday]. It’s a blessing for these guys to make state.”

UP NEXT

Prescott will find out today, May 4, which opponent it will face on the road in the first round of the 16-team, single-elimination Division II state tournament at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Ramirez said he expects the Badgers to battle fourth-seeded Higley.

Doug Cook is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at dcook@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

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