Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
MURPHY — The last time the Phoenix volleyball team won a Skyline Conference championship, Shonda Bursk was the Pirates' senior setter.
That was eight years ago, in 2004.
Now, Bursk is Phoenix's head coach, and her team is on top once again.
In a high-stakes match, the Pirates swept Hidden Valley 25-23, 27-25, 25-21 to capture the Skyline crown.
"I can not even believe it," said Bursk, who took over the team in 2005. "The program has been up and down for a long time and I couldn't be prouder or more excited to be a part of it again. Hopefully we'll play up for a long time."
Phoenix was 8-13 overall last year and 5-14 in 2010.
The Pirates (17-5, 9-1 Sky) and the Mustangs (12-6, 8-2 Sky) both entered the regular-season finale with 8-1 records in conference play. The two squads had faced each other three times this year, with Hidden Valley taking two of the matches (including the first conference meeting on Oct. 4).
Junior setter Ashlyn Flynn had 12 kills, including five points on seven attempts and no errors in the last game. She added 19 digs.
Haleigh Wagman offered up nine kills and led the Pirates in serving with a perfect 15-for-15 mark and three aces.
Karlie Richardson recorded 14 assists and Baylee Toney added five blocks against a tough Mustang squad.
"They are just scrappers," Bursk said of Hidden Valley. "It's really hard to get something to land on their side. Last time we struggled and played discombobulated. This time we kept our composure and didn't let things get crazy."
HENLEY 3, NORTH VALLEY 1 — At Merlin, Henley topped North Valley 25-19, 23-25, 25-10, 25-15 in Skyline play.
The Hornets finished the regular season 10-10 overall and 6-4 in league play. North Valley was 5-12 overall and 3-7 in conference action.