HYRUM — With a new month, the Mustangs picked right up where they left off to end the last one.
Facing another 6A school, Mountain Crest set the tone early and was never really threatened by visiting Hunter Tuesday night. The Mustangs won their sixth straight match with a 25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 25-13 victory.
“We are playing more together and more for each other right now,” said MC senior Grace Garlock, who had 11 kills and hit .381. “We are more focused.
It wasn’t pretty at times, as hitting errors and serving issues by the Mustangs (6-4) kept the Wolverines (3-2) close until the fourth set. Mountain Crest owned the fourth and put to bed any hopes of a rally by Hunter.
“We’ve had some problems with serving, so hopefully we can fix that in practice,” Garlock said. “... We wanted to start stronger in the fourth set. We had been making some silly mistakes and decided we weren’t going to any more. We wanted every single point to count.”
Hunter had gained a little momentum after fighting hard in the first two sets and then taking the third. But like Garlock said, the Mustangs were more focused and never trailed in the fourth.
Ella Douglass came out swinging in the fourth with three kills in the early going. Jaycee Osborne served up a pair of aces and got a kill as the hosts raced out to a 12-4 lead.
Hunter got within four, but back-to-back kills by Garlock sparked the Mustangs again. Douglass had another kill and teamed up with Osborne for a block. Mountain Crest finished off the set and match by scoring the final five points. Back-to-back kills by Kiera Crosbie, another ace from Osborne and a block from Tess Henrie ended the night.
“It’s been exciting to see us make improvements and keep learning every day,” MC head coach Kindra Anderson said. “We are still learning and figuring out how to play together as a team.”
Douglass led the Mustangs with 15 kills, hitting .387, had four blocks and seven digs. Crosbie made it three Mountain Crest players in double figures in kills with 13. Osborne had 49 assists, while Phoebe Starnes led the team with eight digs.
“I’m lucky as a coach because we have got a lot of hitters,” Anderson said. “No matter where Jaycee puts the ball, we’ve got a big hitter to put it away. We have a tough offense this year. It’s been fun.”
The Mustangs scored the first four points and never trailed in the opening set, despite it being close most of the way. Some missed serves and hitting errors allowed Hunter to stay in it before Garlock put it away with two kills.
“We killed ourselves with our own errors,” Anderson said. “We were making it so hard for us to win. We were missing so many serves and hitting the ball out. When things were good, they were good. ... We are a good serving team with tough serves, but we are just serving a lot out right now. We need to figure that out.”
Something to work on with region action still about two weeks away.
“We have a super tough region,” Garlock said. “We will have to work hard every day in practice and put our hearts into it and just go play our hardest.”
Anderson agreed: “This is going to be a tough region. There are good teams in this valley. We are excited and ready to go fight.”
WOLVES 3, HUSKIES 0
Defending 4A champion Green Canyon (5-5) traveled to Midvale to take on 5A Hillcrest and brought home an easy 25-8, 25-6, 25-13 win.
“Tonight was a fun match for us,” Wolves head coach Maddie Larsen said. “It’s always good to get a win on the road. The girls played very consistent. We served tough and were able to go on some nice runs.
Livi Longhurst had seven aces and six digs for Green Canyon. In the hitting department, Kaylee Coats led the way with 11 kills, hitting .647. Coats also had six digs. Sarah Blau served up five aces and had 17 assists.
BEES 3, BOBCATS 1
Sky View (5-5) came up on the wrong end of some close sets at Brigham City as the 5A Bees prevailed, 23-25, 26-24, 25-20, 29-27.
“It was a defensive battle on both sides,” Bobcat head coach Sheila Sorensen said. “Both sides had some good blockers and many digs. ... It is always a good battle when you play Box Elder. We missed our chances to close a few of those sets.”
Haley McUne led the Bobcats with 14 kills, 23 digs and passed 2.26. Kaitlyn Hiatt had 35 assists, 10 digs and three aces. Jenna Dority added 12 digs and three aces, while Melanie Hiatt finished with 12 kills, two aces and 11 digs.
PIRATES 3, GRIZZLIES 0
It was a successful road trip for undefeated West Side, which dispatched of Grace in straight sets on Wednesday night (25-16, 25-19, 25-23).
Emma Mariscal led the Pirates (4-0) in blocks with four and chipped in with five kills, while Jesse Mariscal finished with a team-high six kills. Abby Fuller shined in the serve receive department for West Side, which served up eight aces in the match.
“Grace played a tough match and were very scrappy,” WS head coach MeLinda Royer said. “I was proud of my girls pulling together as a team to add another good win against an excellent team.”
It was the Pirates’ second straight sweep as they took care of business at home against Logan last Thursday night (25-23, 25-15, 25-13). Madalyn Barzee racked up 15 digs for West Side, which got seven kills from Kajsia Fuller, six kills apiece from Jesse Mariscal and Fuller, six aces from TyLene Royer and 20 assists from Laney Beckstead.
HJ sports writer Jason Turner contributed to this report