Ironwood Ridge set to split title hopes - The Explorer: Sports

Ironwood Ridge set to split title hopes

Ladies' squad falters, but boys poised for victory

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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:04 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Chairs, hats and water bottles took flight as No. 4 Ironwood Ridge’s Lady Nighthawks dispatched No. 5 Phoenix North 5-0 during a blustery afternoon last Wednesday, on their home court.

However, the wind left the Oro Valley girls’ sails when they faced top-seeded Anthem Boulder Creek in a 5-0 team semifinals defeat at Glendale’s Paseo Racquet Club on Monday.

The Nighthawks’ postseason — marked by play against virtually unknown teams during the school’s first year of 5A-level contention — capped a great run for the girls, coach William Little said.

“I think they really enjoyed the competition,” Little said.  “They certainly did their best and played their hearts out.”

A lockdown performance (6-2, 6-2) from No. 3 Maile Hoffmann over North’s Bianca Roman helped lead the quarterfinal charge, along with dominant wins from Megan Gillespie and Kelley Carson (6-1, 6-2 and 6-3, 6-2).

North’s No. 1 Emma Ignaszewski swung out to a 3-0 lead over Shannon Contreras, before the Nighthawks senior rallied to win the series at 7-5, 6-1.

“It was not my best day, but I still pulled through,” Contreras said.

The best wasn’t good enough Monday, though, as Boulder Creek’s Vanessa Green topped Contreras in a tight 6-4, 6-4 series.

“I think that we put up a good fight,” Contreras said.  “We just didn’t pull through.”

The No. 5 Nighthawk boys blew through their team competition, however, clenching their own title berth by knocking off No. 8 Mountain View 5-0 on Monday, at Glendale’s Paseo Racquet Center.

It was the third straight shutout for the guys in state competition, which set them up for the 5A-II crown match against No. 2 Phoenix North on Tuesday.  

Early that morning, Coach Ryan Bais said his guys felt great after taking about an hour to achieve the semifinals win, while their opponent North drew out a three-hour affair.

“It gives us a little bit extra rest, so that’s always a good thing,” Bais said.

Despite graduating their captain last year — back-to-back state singles champ John Nanosky — Bais didn’t sound overly surprised that the team ended up poised to hang their second straight state banner.

“There was a little bit of uncertainty at first,” Bais said. “But they handled it well and it’s nice to be back here again.”

Tuesday afternoon’s finals outcome was not available until after The Explorer went to press. However, Bais felt confident that all six Nighthawks positions were solid enough for the win — while North featured a “sharp drop-off” after their top two players.

“I think if we’re going to beat them, depth is where it’s at,” Bais said.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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