The Nighthawks defeated rival Salpointe Catholic 3-0 last Thursday to win the 5A-II Southern region title, ending their regular season with a 36-9 record and the No.1-overall seed heading into Tuesday's first-round state playoff match against Lake Havasu (11-9).
Junior Michaela Christiaansen continued to control the floor both offensively and defensively for Ironwood Ridge, notching 10 kills and 28 digs with three aces against the Lancers. Senior libero /outside hitter Jessica Hall also contributed on both sides with eight kills and 18 digs. Offensively, the middle blocker duo of senior Briana Hughes (eight kills) and junior Morgan Eaton (five kills) added much-needed scoring for the Nighthawks.
Junior libero Elle Sneyd (14 digs), senior outside hitter Taylor Stender (10 digs) and senior setter Autumn Sanford (nine digs) stifled the Lancer offensive attack.
The Nighthawks will be at home the first two rounds of state playoff action. If Ironwood Ridge defeats Lake Havasu on Tuesday, it hosts either Phoenix Sandra Day O'Connor or Anthem Boulder Creek on Thursday at 7 p.m.