The fourth-seeded Flagstaff Eagles played the top-seeded Greenway Demons close in all three sets, but were swept in the 4A Conference state semifinals, 26-24, 29-27, 27-25, Saturday night at McClintock High School in Tempe.
Flagstaff played Greenway once before the semifinal contest, in the first match of the regular season. The 3-1 win for the Demons included three set victories for the Demons all by at least nine points. This time around, despite coming in a losing effort, Flagstaff played Greenway to tight, competitive sets the entire way.
Flagstaff rallied in the first set down 22-19 to knot the set up at 22-all, but couldn’t keep the momentum. In the second stanza, Flagstaff led 17-14 over Greenway, but the Demons clawed back and the two were deadlocked at 23-all. The two traded points until Greenway took a 29-27 win in the second, outlasting the Eagles who had three set-point chances in the second.
The Eagles led late into the third set at 20-14 looking to avoid a sweep, but the Demons outscored Flagstaff 13-5 to close out the third and clinch the sweep.
The Eagles' final overall record, including all tournaments, lands at 33-7 overall. The Eagles went perfect in the Grand Canyon Region at 12-0 this season.
SWIM AND DIVE
Maggie Horton highlighted the girls side for Flagstaff and Thomas Wesche made a splash for the boys as both the divers came away with top-10 performances at the Division II swim and dive state meet on Saturday.
Horton finished in fourth place on the girls 1-meter with a score of 403.40 and Wesche had a 381.15 for his 1-meter score for a 10th-place finish for the Eagles, whose boys team finished in 18th place with 45.5 points while the girls ended up 22nd at 26 points.
The Flagstaff boys relay teams fared well, with the 400-yard freestyle relay crew finishing 10th and the 200 freestyle group taking 11th in 1:34.29. The teams were made up of Eagles swimmers Eric Heinonen, Bryce Fennell, Jalen Rinne and Sean Diehl.
Heinonen finished the boys 200-yard freestyle in 13th place with a time of 1:49.69, with Diehl coming in 15th, both shaving a hair of time off their preliminary times. Diehl also had a 12th-place result in the 100-yard freestyle, and Heinonen was 15th in the 500 free.
Zia Kypta-Keith, Pearl Himelick, Zinnia Cooperrider and Meadow Higgins teamed up for a 15th-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay in 2:00.27. Higgins and Himelick also joined Madi Boose and Carisa Peterson in the 200 free relay for 15th place. Kypta-Keith was 15th in the girls 100 backstroke.
The D-III final results were not available at press time.