Benjamin Franklin (Queen Creek) roared back from a 2-0 deficit Tuesday night to defeat host Page 3-2 in a 3A Conference state volleyball tournament play-in match.
Page, the 12 seed, saw all of its early momentum from 25-17 and 25-20 wins evaporate on the long left arm of Benjamin Franklin's 6-foot outside hitter Julia Boyd. The senior, one of four Chargers listed at 5-foot-9 or taller, had a match-high 22 kills.
Page (19-16 in all matches) had no answer for the Chargers' length at the net and lost the last three games, 25-21, 28-26 and 15-12. Benjamin Franklin, the 21 seed, advanced to the 16-team tournament beginning Friday at Camelback High School in the Valley.
The Sand Devils began the night with momentum. They were coming off their first win over longtime powerhouse Monument Valley in 22 years. They had beaten the Mustangs on their home floor in Kayenta Saturday in the semifinals of the North Region tournament.
Page came out playing relatively error-free to put the Chargers on their heels. Head coach Misty Smith, in her return to the bench after a three-year hiatus, mixed her balanced lineup and acquired kills from seven different players in the first two games as the visitors hurt themselves with mistakes.
Benjamin Franklin (14-12 overall) had seven kills from Boyd in game three and six more in a lengthy game four. Page had gone to sophomore Neve Redhair often down the stretch in the fourth set and she delivered four critical kills. But the Sand Devils were called for a net violation to bring up game point, and the Chargers' Taylor Vanduyn finished it with a kill.
A flat Page squad fell into an 8-2 hole to start the deciding set, then reeled off five straight points to tie it at 10. But Boyd, mixing lasers and tips, solved it with three kills near the end. Her last one tooled the hands of Page's blockers and dropped out of bounds.
Redhair led Page with 13 kills. Rainy Hoskie, who made the All-Region First Team, had 11. D'Kota Begay of Page and teammates Emma Yazzie and Robyn Nelson were named to the region honorable mention list.
The 4A Coconino volleyball team placed Sophie Sinek and Brooke Parker to the Grand Canyon Region All-Region First Team.
The Panthers' Kenzie Palmer made roll call on the second team, with Mireya Cabrera and Megan Hicks earning honorable mentions.