While rankings are nice, that is thrown out the window when the action actually starts.
Sky View entered the 4A State Volleyball Championship as the fourth seed under the new RPI system. The defending state champion Bobcats are still in the running to repeat.
Sky View (19-12) advanced to the semifinals Tuesday night as the tournament moved to the campus of Utah Valley University. Unlike a year ago, the Bobcats dropped a couple of sets, but advancing is the top priority, which they did.
In the quarterfinals, Sky View took a hard fought four-set win against fifth-seeded Stansbury, 31-29, 21-25, 25-21, 25-15.
“I am proud of the way our team kept fighting and kept playing together,” Bobcat head coach Sheila Sorensen said. “We did not always look polished, but we got the job done.”
Against the Stallions, Haley McUne led the way for Sky View with 19 kills, hitting .333. The junior passed at 2.38, while coming up with 14 digs and served up three aces.
Bobcat senior Carly Cottle had four aces, eight kills and 14 digs. Kaytlin Smart hit .350 with seven kills and six blocks. Setter Kaitlyn Hiatt had 39 assists, 12 digs and two aces, while Jenna Gibbons drew praise for her help in the middle with seven kills, hitting .278.
Sky View began the second round with a four-set win against Tooele. The Bobcats dropped the first set, fought fiercely to take an exciting second set and then rolled, 19-25, 26-24, 25-12, 25-20.
Against the Buffaloes McUne and Cottle each had 17 kills. McUne hit .364, passing at 2.10 with eight digs and three aces. Cottle hit .262 and came up with nine digs.
Gibbons also came up big in the middle with seven kills, hitting .278 and had two blocks. Brinley Forsgren had three blocks and three kills, while Hiatt had 46 assists, two aces, two kills and six digs. Libero Kelsey Spackman was credited with some “great passing” and also had nine digs.
“This team stays focused and the effort and energy is always there,” Sorensen said. “They know what they want, and they go for it.”
They will try and do that again on Wednesday as the Bobcats chase another state title. They meet ninth-seeded Desert Hills who upset top-seeded Juan Diego in the quarterfinals after beating eighth-seeded Uintah to start the day.
On the other side of the bracket, co-Region 11 champions Green Canyon could be on a collision course with Sky View for the title. The Wolves (20-10) won a five-set thriller against another Region 11 opponent in Ridgeline (18-10) in the quarterfinals.
Trailing by a set heading to the fourth, Green Canyon took the next two to advance, 25-17, 17-25, 21-25, 25-17, 16-14. This was the third meeting between the two schools as they had split during the regular season with some exciting matches.
“I’m so proud of our team,” GC head coach Madison Larsen said. “They played with so much heart and determination. Everyone is contributing and stepping up when they’re needed.”
The Wolves opened play on Tuesday with a four-set win against Crimson Cliffs. Green Canyon dropped the first set, then responded with some big play in a 19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-17 win over the Mustangs.
Jacie Walker had 31 kills in the two matches, hitting .300 and also had seven aces and six blocks. Shante Falslev led the team with 32 kills, while also having 24 digs and four aces. Kaitlin Compton had a team-best 29 digs, while setter Sarah Blau had 80 assists, 25 digs and four aces.
The Wolves opened the season with five setbacks, but are now on the cusp of possibly playing for a state title in the third year of existence. They must avoid being upset by 15th-seeded Dixie. The Flyers have already beat one team from Region 11.
“We just need to keep taking it one game at a time,” Larsen said.
Ridgeline can still finish in fifth with two wins on Wednesday. The Riverhawks began action on Tuesday with an easy victory against Ogden, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14.
Against the Tigers, Danica David led the Riverhawks with 10 kills and hit .235. Tess Lawson passed at 2.04 and had 18 digs. Savannah Perret added seven kills and hit .286.
Against Green Canyon, Gracee Putnam led the Riverhawks with 12 kills, hitting .243 and had 20 digs. David had 10 kills and passing of 2.13. Lawson had 35 digs, and Ashlyn Hansen had five aces.
Mountain Crest did not get off to the start it had hoped for. The second-seeded Mustangs dropped a five-set marathon match against Dixie. The Flyers took the first two sets, but then had to rally in the fifth to win, 25-21, 25-20, 11-25, 25-27, 17-15.
“We struggled getting going against Dixie,” MC head coach Kindra Anderson said. “The first two sets we just were not playing well or as a team. In the third, we really picked it up and gained a lot of momentum. It was a tough loss, but I’m happy my girls battled in the last three sets.”
Ali Pehrson and Ella Douglass each had 14 kills, while Tally Sofonia had 11 against Dixie. Jaycee Osborne had 44 assists.
With their backs against the wall, the Mustangs (20-9) fought back in the second match of the evening. Mountain Crest lived to play another day with a 25-15, 25-19, 19-25, 25-19 win against Snow Canyon.
“We really bounced back and played great against Snow Canyon,” Anderson said. “It’s unfortunate we didn’t start our day playing like we did in our second match. We had a lot of fun and just focused on ourselves and what we could control.”
Douglass had 12 kills, while Sofonia and Pehrson had eight each. Jordan Flippence had 30 digs, and Osborne had 36 assists.
With two wins on Wednesday, the Mustangs can finish sixth.
“Not many teams get to leave state winning their last match, so that’s what we are fighting to do,” Anderson said.