Ironwood Ridge's Girls Volleyball team didn't beat Chandler Hamilton, the best overall team in the state, Wednesday night, but they took away from that loss what their going to need to do to succeed come playoff time.
The Nighthawks returned to Southern Arizona competition Thursday night rolling to a straight set sweep of Flowing Wells (25-6, 25-14, 25-8). The 100th victory for the program at home.
IRHS (27-7) has been to the state's final four five of the last six seasons. They have failed to reach the title game in all of those years. 2004 was the last time a Bill Lang led Nighthawks team got to the Finals (losing to Scottsdale Chaparral).
IRHS has power from the edges from seniors Kennedy Kurtz, Makeala Hammer and McKenna McCabe.
Captain Hana Peterman and junior Jordan Weatherless can both set effectively and the return of Lanea Tuiasosopo has added more punch to the offense.
Tuiasosopo grew up in the Ironwood Ridge system but moved to Colorado when her father Mike, the former defensive line coach at UA, took a job at the University of Colorado.
Ironwood Ridge gets another Division I test at home on October 22 when they welcome Maricopa to town.
The Nighthawks are currently ranked fourth in Division II behind Phoenix Paradise Valley (#1), Buckeye Verrado (#2) and Phoenix Sunnyslope (#3).
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