SMITHFIELD — In a battle of second-place teams with dreams of still sharing a Region 11 volleyball title, it was the defending champs that emerged victorious.
Sky View dropped the opening set, but then won three in a row against Ridgeline to avenge a setback against the Riverhawks earlier this season. The Bobcats can still finish atop the region with a win next week against first-place Green Canyon after a 23-25, 25-20, 25-18, 26-24 win over the Riverhawks Tuesday night.
“What a fun battle, what a fun region we have,” SV head coach Sheila Sorensen said. “It’s fun every night. Everybody is going to bring their A game. They are tired of losing to us, and I get it. We have to be on our A game.”
The Bobcats (16-12, 7-2 region) rarely trailed in the match, jumping out to early leads in all but the fourth set. Playing with more confidence and poise has been a work in progress this season for the two-time defending region champs, who have just two seniors.
“We have been working on confidence, and resetting after mess ups,” Sorensen said. “... Hats off to Ridgeline for serving as tough as they did.”
It was Senior Night at Sky View, as Carly Cottle and Addey Wengreen were honored. Both played a roles in the win.
“It was such a good Senior Night,” said Cottle who had four aces, 12 kills and 11 digs.
“It was a good night and a good way to end our home season,” Wengreen said. I just love being out there with my team. It was fun to play against such a good team for Senior Night. It was a good night.”
Ridgeline (16-9, 6-3) had won the first meeting with Sky View in four and used a late rally to take the first set Tuesday night. With Tess Lawson serving, the Riverhawks reeled off four straight points to take their first lead of the opening set, 22-21. Lawson had three aces during that run and a match-best 25 digs. Savannah Perrett finished off the set with one of her seven kills for the match.
“We are a tough serving team and sometimes that can be a really good thing, and when our serve is a little bit off, it can be hard on us,” Ridgeline head coach Denae Pruden said. “We had nine aces to 14 misses. We would like that to be closer to one to one.”
Danica David also had three aces for the Riverhawks.
The setback in the first set didn’t seem to bother the Bobcats as they began the second set by jumping out to a 10-2 lead. Cottle had a pair of aces during that start.
“We had a lot of discipline this time, stead of freaking out,” Cottle said. “We did a good job resetting. We wanted to finish it instead of letting them (Riverhawks) come back. They are a good team, and it was a fun game. ... We just said the first set was in the past and that we were going to go win the next three. We stayed positive.”
Ridgeline did claw back and tie the set at 16-16.
The hosts responded with a 8-1 run as Cottle and Kaytlin Smart each had two kills. Smart evened the match with a kill to end the second set as the Bobcats never trailed. Smart finished with nine kills, hitting .368 and came up with six blocks.
The momentum carried over to the third set. Once again Sky View never trailed. Hailey McUne served Sky View to a 5-0 lead as she served 94 percent for the match and had a match-best 15 kills, with 11 digs. The Bobcats finished it of with a 4-0 run as Smart once again put the exclamation point on the set.
“Our energy was up tonight,” Sorensen said. “We stayed focused on what we were trying to do.”
Unlike the first three sets, the Riverhawks grabbed the early lead in the fourth. Kills by Brinlie Crosbie and Alex Bishop sparked the visitors to a 6-2 advantage. Bishop finished with 11 kills, while Crosbie had 17 assists and Ashlyn Hansen had 15 assists.
“We are still struggling a little bit with our confidence, especially against teams that are good,” Pruden said. “We’ve got to get past that as we end region and head to state. We need to get over some of that.”
Sky View didn’t stay down for long. With Jenna Gibbons serving, the Bobcats reeled off seven unanswered points to take a 13-10 lead. Smart finished the run with a block, and Sky View never trailed again. It was tied at 24-24 before a kill by Cottle and Smart ended the match. Cottle also had a wild ricochet drop in late in the fourth.
“That just happened so fast, I didn’t even think,” Cottle said. “It was more of a reaction. ... My team talks to me and helps me find the court.”
Kelsey Spackman led the Bobcats with 12 digs. Kaitlyn Hiatt had 37 assists and 11 digs.
Now the Bobcats turn their attention to Green Canyon, who they play in the region finale next week.
“We are up to the challenge,” Wengreen said. “... I feel like we are having our best moments right now. We have worked really hard to get to where we are. Our region is really tough. It will be good, because Green Canyon is really good.”
“The big picture was getting to Green Canyon with a chance to win a region championship,” Sorensen said. “This was just a stepping stone to get to where we wanted to be.”
MUSTANGS 3, GRIZZLIES 0
Coming off an undefeated weekend at the Laker Classic hosted by Bonneville High School, Mountain Crest kept the momentum going with its seventh straight win, knocking off Logan in Hyrum, 25-15, 25-15, 25-16.
“We had a good night,” MC head coach Kindra Anderson said. “We played well as a team, and it was fun to see our seniors all play together for their last time at Mountain Crest. The girls did a great job.”
Six Mustang seniors were honored. Mountain Crest (18-7, 5-4) is currently in fourth place in the region, while Logan (3-16, 0-9) is still looking for that first league win.
Seniors Alison Pehrson and Ashtyn Tholen led the team with eight kills each, while fellow senior Tally Sofonia had six finishers. Tholen hit .467. Pehrson and senior Jordan Flippence had 13 digs each to lead the team, while another senior Addie Wood had nine digs. Flippence had five aces, while Pehrson had four and senior Katie Keller had three.
The Grizzlies were led by Bailey Clark with four kills and two aces. Kaylee Johnson came up with four blocks. Kaylee McKinnon had 14 digs.
WOLVES 3, BEARS 1
Green Canyon remained on top of the region standings with a win at Garland, 19-25, 25-10, 25-19, 25-14.
“I thought we served tough and blocked well tonight,” GC head coach Madison Larsen said. “It’s always nice to get a win on the road.”
The Wolves (18-9, 8-1) had 17 aces on the night as a team against Bear River (3-14, 1-8). Jacie Walker served up six of those aces to lead the team. She also had six kills, hitting .429 and coming up with three blocks. Shante Falslev had three aces and seven kills. Olivia Chadwick led the Wolves with eight kills, while Sabree Adams led in the block department with six.
BOBCATS 3, INDIANS 0
In a tight, defensive battle, Preston came out on the short end against Burley at home.
The visiting Bobcats won in three, 25-23, 25-22, 26-24. Preston (10-6, 8-5) has now dropped two in a row.
“No one really took control, so it was a bit of a battle back and forth until the end,” Preston head coach Karaska Haskell said. “There was great defense all around.”
Four Preston players had 13 digs each in Abie Keller, Matti Whitehead, Dru Despain and Hannah Stephenson. Hailey Winward and Stephenson each had two blocks.
Offensively for the Tribe, Hailey Meek and Winward had seven kills each, while Keller had six finishers. Keller also had two aces, while Stephenson had 22 assists.