Ironwood Ridge girls tennis coach Bill Little think his team is a little bit ahead of where it was last year at this point.
If that's any sign, the Nighthawks are heading for another state title.
No. 5 I-Ridge (13-1) beat Cave Creek Cactus Shadows 5-1 Wednesday for its 12th straight win to advance to the Division II state quarterfinals where it will play No. 13 Sabino.
"We're in the right place, and hopefully we'll be even more in the right place next week," Little said. "We're seeing the players come together on the team and playing their positions in a strong way, and that's what we want to see."
Alli Knox started the day with a 6-0, 6-0 win, and Sara Brown followed that with a win by the same score. Marissa Baca, Kelsey Brown and Erica Harris also won for the Nighthawks.
• No. 13 Sabino 5, No. 4 Phoenix Washington 2: At Washington, Sabino seniors Susanna Studwell and Kelsey Pothoff both won in singles and clinched the match with a 10-0 doubles victory. Fellow senior Jeunne Fernando earned the first win for the Sabercats, who will face I-Ridge next.
• No. 3 Catalina Foothills 6, No. 14 Casa Grande 0: At Foothills, the Falcons cruised with Kirtana Bhat and Katie Watson both winning 6-0, 6-0. No. 1 Rachana Bhat won her match 6-0, 6-1. Foothills will host Phoenix Arcadia next.
• No. 2 Nogales 5, No. 15 Sahuarita 1: At Nogales, the undefeated Apaches overcame a slow start and got wins from Cristina Oropeza, Gaby Belisaro, Emma Oropeza, Paula Escalante and Paulina Lopez. Nogales will host Prescott in Tuesday's quarterfinals
"We had a big crowd," coach Kerri Munoz said. "I've never seen that many fans at a tennis match so we had a little bit of nerves, but the girls ended up playing outstanding at the end."
• No. 13 Salpointe Catholic 5, No. 4 Goodyear Millennium 1: At Millennium, the Lancers upset the Tigers for their seventh straight win. They will travel to Phoenix Pinnacle next.
• No. 4 Desert Christian 5, No. 12 Morenci 0: At La Mariposa, Courtenay Gleason, Harika Echuri and Jenna Cray were among the winners for the Eagles.
"I thought it would be a winnable match, but I didn't expect our girls to come out and dominate the way they did," Desert Christian coach Carol Brandon said.
• No. 13 Pusch Ridge Christian 5, No. 4 Fountain Hills 0: At Fountain Hills, the Lions stunned the Falcons and advanced to the second round with the help of wins from Mia Batinica and Allie Scott. Pusch Ridge will face Desert Christian next.
• No. 1 Miami 6, No. 16 Tanque Verde 0: At Miami, the top-seeded Vandals ended Tanque Verde's season.
• No. 9 Chandler Prep at No. 8 Douglas: At Douglas, Chandler Prep won by forfeit.