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OREM -- Defending 4A state volleyball champion Sky View was planning on another run in 2021.

The Bobcats had to settle for fourth place Thursday afternoon at the UCCU Center on the campus of Utah Valley University. Sky View fell to Ridgeline in the semifinals Thursday morning in three, 25-15, 25-21, 25-17. The Bobcats then faced Crimson Cliffs for third place and were also swept, 26-24, 25-11, 25-20.

“This is a great group of girls, and I’m just super proud of them and all they have been able to accomplish,” SV head coach Sheila Sorensen said. “They decided to be a team and turn this season around. I just give all the credit to my team. We did well in the region and at state.”

The Bobcats (19-14) led a good portion of the opening set against the Mustangs (18-10), but couldn’t finish it. Then Crimson Cliffs took charge, never trailing in the second.

“They (Mustangs) have a lot of really good hitters,” SV senior outside hitter Abi Doxey said. “We needed to focus on our side a little more. We made a lot of unforced errors.”

The Bobcats had no answer for Callie Finlinson, an outside hitter for Crimson Cliffs. It seemed like every time the Bobcats tried to make a run, she would come up with a big kill and then another.

“I feel like unforced errors was the way it went for us today,” Sorensen said. “And we are normally a better blocking team, but couldn’t get that going against Crimson Cliffs.”

The third set was back and forth with eight ties and four lead changes. The Mustangs used two 4-0 runs to build a lead and never looked back.

“It was a roller coaster year, but has been so fun with these girls,” Bobcat KaitLynn May said. “Today is not the result we wanted but I respect all these girls so much.”

May was one of five seniors on the roster. All five shared their feelings on the season.

“I had a blast and really enjoyed my senior year because we had so much fun together,” Doxey said. “That’s why we do it, to have fun.”

“It was awesome,” Katie Low said. “We may have not gotten to the championship, but it was awesome to play with my team for the last time as a senior. In my heart it was a win because we were playing together as a team.”

“We did have some ups and downs this season, but I’m really proud of our team,” Kelsey Spackman said. “I’m so proud that we are in the top four. I would tell the girls that aren’t graduating to play hard and have fun. Time goes by too fast. It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the team.”

“At Sky View we practice what we call ’Catitude’ and it is written inside of our jerseys,” Aezley Young said. “No matter what, we go all out. We’re proud of where we place whether that’s first or last.”

Melanie Hiatt led the Bobcats with eight kills and 16 digs. Doxey also had eight kills, while Ella Bingham had five kills, hit .308 and had two blocks.

“It’s fun to see where we have come this year, from where we started,” Sorensen said. “... It’s hard to see seniors go, but I’m excited about the girls coming back. I’m excited for the culture we have at Sky View and to continue that.”

Against the Riverhawks earlier in the day, the Bobcats played much better after the opening set. However, they could not get a set.

“We had a lot of errors in the first set,” Sorensen said. “We played better after that.”

Hiatt led Sky View with a double-double, recording 12 kills and 11 digs. Hannah Radford had seven kills and hit .250, while Ella Bingham had four blocks.

FIFTH PLACE

A pair of Region 11 schools squared off in the fifth/seventh place match Thursday afternoon.

It was the fourth meeting between Green Canyon and Mountain Crest this season. For the third time the Wolves came out on top as they took a hard fought five setter against the Mustangs, 15-25, 25-21, 25-17, 15-25, 15-11.

“It’s always hard when you come to state with a certain goal in mind and it doesn’t work out the way you planned,” GC head coach Maddie Larsen said. “Coming into today, emotions were high. Our worth and success of the season is not defined by where we place at state. I’m so proud of the girls for fighting through the emotions today.”

The Wolves (16-14) were happy to end the season on a winning note. The young team dealt with injuries and finished strong.

“It is exciting with all the girls we have coming back,” Larsen said. “The future is exciting.”

The Mustangs (18-14) were hoping for a much better finish, but lapses at critical times were their undoing.

“It was a bummer,” MC head coach Kindra Anderson said. “I thought we were going to get that one. We just struggled at times when we shouldn’t have. … We have just struggled with consistency.”

In the fifth and deciding set, there were seven ties and three lead changes. The final lead change was a big swing of momentum. With Adi Falslev serving, the Wolves went on a 6-0 run to surge to a 13-9 lead. Falslev had two aces.

“We talked about making aggressive plays in tense moments,” Larsen said. “I think they recognized they were tensing up a little bit and needed to play aggressively. I was proud of the serving, but also the defense and mindset we had to keep fighting.”

Green Canyon’s Paige Spackman finished off the match and season for both schools with a kill.

The Wolves were led by Kaylee Coats who had 11 kills, hit .526, came up with 11 digs and recorded 20 assists. Falslev served up three aces, had 11 digs and five kills. Alli Anthon led Green Canyon with 13 kills, while Eden Faux led the team in digs with 17. Lydia Echols had 16 digs.

Statistics for the Mustangs were not available.

“It was a tough season overcoming a lot and learning some tough lessons,” Anderson said. “I think our girls are stronger. It obviously didn’t end how we wanted it too.”

Green Canyon began the day with another five-set thriller, beating Pine View 15-25, 25-20, 25-16, 18-25, 19-17. The Wolves played three five-set matches at state this year.

“We had more five setters at the state tournament than we did the whole season,” Larsen said. “We got our money’s worth.”

Mountain Crest swept Cedar to advance to the fifth-place match, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23.

“We lose five seniors, so there are some big shoes to fill, but I’m excited for the girls coming up,” Anderson said. “I’m excited to see what these younger girls can do.”

Shawn Harrison is the sports editor at The Herald Journal. He can be reached at sharrison@hjnews.com or 435-792-7233.

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