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Volleyball History plus some Southern Arizona teams are cutting it close

Desert Christian and Salpointe are almost post season eligible. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Southern Arizona squads will be cutting it close this fall based on the minimum number of matches it will take to qualify for the state playoffs. Depending on the conference, a team will need to play anywhere from eight to ten matches to even be considered for a berth and then a team must play well enough to finish ranked in the top 24 to play another night for all conferences from 2A to 6A.

Desert Christian has nine of the ten matches required, Salpointe has six of the nine required and Pusch Ridge has six of the ten require.

The Conference Play-In Tournaments are scheduled for Nov. 10.

(Star: Oct. 31, 1960)

The Amphitheater girls won the first City Championship in October of 1960 with Amphi, Pueblo, Salpointe, Catalina, Flowing Wells, Rincon and Tucson taking part. Safford beat Catalina in 1968 in the first recognized state championship match.

The Sunnyside boys won the Pima County Tournament in 1949. Larry Bivins, Felix Alivas, Dick Leis, John Loring, Ed Walker, G. Lopez and Ralph Stubbs played for Sunnyside. The first AIA state championship took place in 1995 with Mountain Pointe beating Canyon del Oro. Jason Hamernick, Jeff Crutchfield, Nick Thompson, Tim Tobin, Justin Sherrill and Darren Green played for the Dorados.

(Citizen: Aug. 11, 1949)

6A CONFERENCE

Minimum of 9 matches.
Ranked 1-8 will earn automatic berth.
Ranked 9-24 to play-in tournament (6:30 p.m.).
TEAMS: Tucson (10), Rincon/UHS (13)

5A CONFERENCE

Minimum of 10 matches.
Ranked 1-8 will earn automatic berth.
Ranked 9-24 to play-in tournament (6:30 p.m.).
TEAMS: Catalina Foothills (10), Buena (11), Desert View (11), Sunnyside (11), Cienega (12), Flowing Wells (13), Ironwood Ridge (12), Marana (13), Mountain View (13) and Nogales (13).

CURRENT TOP RANKINGS
No. 5: Buena
No. 8: Cienega
No. 17 Mountain View
No. 18: Marana
No. 19: Flowing Wells

4A CONFERENCE

Minimum of 9 matches.
8 region champions will earn automatic berth.
Ranked 9-24 to play-in tournament (6:30 p.m.).
Region champions in the play-in tournament will host.
TEAMS: Rio Rico (9), Amphitheater (10), Canyon del Oro (10), Cholla (10), Douglas (10), Sahuaro (10), Pueblo (11), Sahuarita (11), Walden Grove (13) and Salpointe (16).

CURRENT TOP RANKINGS
No. 2: Salpointe

3A CONFERENCE

Minimum of 10 matches.
6 region champions will earn automatic berth.
Ranked 9-24 to play-in tournament (6 p.m.).
TEAMS: Tanque Verde (8), Catalina (9), Palo Verde (9), Empire (12), Sabino (12) and Pusch Ridge (13).

CURRENT TOP RANKINGS
No. 12: Pusch Ridge

2A CONFERENCE

Minimum of 8 matches.
Top 2 from each region will earn automatic berth.
Ranked 9-24 to play-in tournament (6 p.m.).
TEAMS: Tombstone (13), St. Augustine (14), San Miguel (14), Santa Cruz (14), Benson (15), Bisbee (15), Willcox (15)

CURRENT TOP RANKINGS
No. 17: Benson
No. 19: Bisbee
No. 22: St. Augustine
No. 23: Tombstone

1A CONFERENCE

Minimum of 10 matches.
Top 4 from each region will earn automatic berth.
TEAMS: Immaculate Heart (10), San Simon (11), San Manuel (12), Patagonia (13), Valley Union (13), St. David (16) and Desert Christian (19).

CURRENT TOP RANKINGS
No. 2: San Simon
No. 6: St. David
No. 11 Valley Union
No. 16: San Manuel
No. 17: Desert Christian

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee and was given the Amphi Distinguished Service Award. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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