The Catalina Trojans, ranked No. 2 in the Division III state tournament, outlasted No. 7 Florence in five sets in the quarterfinals Friday at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
Set scores were: 25-21, 26-28, 16-25, 25-18, 15-11.
"It was an incredibly emotional match," Catalina coach Heather Moore-Martin said. "They are very good. They do a lot of things well. We had to be tactical and pull it out."
Madison Irwin led the way with 31 kills.
Moore-Martin's team had to win two matches Friday and will now play No. 6 Tuba City today at 1 p.m. in the semifinals.
If the Trojans beat Tuba City, they would play No. 1 Chandler Seton Catholic or No. 5 Lakeside Blue Ridge in the championship match at 8 tonight.
"When we were down 2-1, I just told them it was time to decide if they wanted to move on," Moore-Martin said.
"I told them they were being outplayed."
Catalina's Friday started with a straight-sets win (25-11, 25-16, 25-13) over No. 15 Sahuarita.
In that win, Irwin and Kelli Rountree each had eight kills. Jacque Carlson added seven.
Courtney Pitts led the team with eight aces and also contributed four digs. As a team, the Trojans registered 18 aces.
Swimming and diving
Cienega's Megan Johnson finished in second place in the Division I diving finals Friday afternoon at the Skyline Aquatic Center in Mesa.
In Friday's swimming preliminaries, Salpointe's Tyler Mattingly posted the fasted times in the 200 and 500 freestyle races. His teammate JoJo Simonson qualified first in the 100 free.
The swimming finals are today.