MILLVILLE — It didn’t take five sets this time.
In a battle at the top of Region 11 volleyball Thursday night, Green Canyon continues its current surge. With a boisterous backing of fans, the Wolves won in three at Ridgeline to avenge their region-opening five-set setback, 25-17, 25-20, 25-23.
“We have a lot of fan support and it’s fun to see them come out here and support us,” GC head coach Madison Larsen said. “... We were ready to play tonight, we executed and were very aggressive and confident. That’s what we wanted to see. I was proud of them. ... I’m much happier tonight.”
The first meeting between the Wolves (11-6, 5-1) and Riverhawks (10-6, 4-2) was a five-set thriller. Green Canyon took charge early in the rematch. Just like in their win over Sky View on Tuesday, the Wolves set the tone early.
“We just go at it (from the start) because we have that mentality,” said GC senior Jacie Walker, who had six kills and four blocks. “It’s exciting how well it’s going. ... Our coaches are doing a really good job preparing us and we are just ready to go.”
With the win, the Wolves are now all alone atop the region standings. With four matches left, they control their own destiny.
“We’re going to just take it one game at a time,” Larsen said. “We can’t get caught up in being in first, second whatever place we are in. We are going to focus on the next game, because that’s all we can control.”
“We just need to keep going and not stop,” Walker said. “We are at a good point right now and just need to keep going.”
Ridgeline, which started the week alone in first place and undefeated, is now tied with Sky View and Mountain Crest for second.
“This is a tough region and any given team can beat any other team on any given night,” RHS head coach Denae Pruden said. “We just got to go out there and take care of our side. The last couple of matches we haven’t done that, and need to get back to that.”
After two lead changes and two ties, the Wolves reeled off 10 straight points with Shante’ Falslev serving in the opening set. She had three aces, while Walker and Madi Miles teamed up for two blocks, and the visitors built a 12-4 lead.
Ridgeline clawed its way back to within 20-17, but then Green Canyon finished off the first set with a 5-0 run. Alivia Longhurst served up two aces, while Falslev and Sabree Adams each had a kill.
“These girls are just ready to play, and I love it,” Larsen said. “They want to win, have great goals and are doing the right things.”
In the second set, the Wolves used a 5-1 run to get out in front and stay there. Back-to-back aces by Walker gave Green Canyon a 6-3 lead. The Wolves expanded their lead to 22-14.
The Riverhawks showed some life with a 6-0 run, including four aces from Brinlie Crosbie. The hosts got within 22-20, but then the Wolves finished off the third set, capping it with an ace by Adams that dropped in deep on the court.
The third set was more of what both coaches expected of the meeting. There were 11 ties and six lead changes. Neither team led by more than three points and each traded a pair of 3-0 runs during one stretch. In fact, the Wolves had five 3-0 runs during the set, while the Riverhawks had three.
“Ridgeline is a great team; they weren’t going to roll over,” Larsen said. “I thought we did a nice job serving tough. We had them out of system a lot.”
Gracee Putnam recorded a kill for Ridgeline to pull the hosts within 24-23.
“I was really proud of our effort in that third set,” Pruden said. “We genuinely got beat in the third set. I thought we beat up ourselves a little in the first two sets. We were not playing our game. We need to go back and focus on why we play. ... We are making ourselves afraid to lose. I don’t know why that has come on.”
Ridgeline seemingly was on a roll after beating Sky View last week, but has now dropped two matches.
Falslev finished off the match with a kill. Falslev had nine kills for the match, hitting .241 and coming up with 10 digs.
“We are very balanced,” Larsen said. “We have a lot of weapons, a lot of options. It’s nice we don’t have to depend on one person. I thought everybody did their job.”
Green Canyon setter Sarah Blau had four kills and hit .444, while libero Kaitlin Compton had 16 digs.
For the Riverhawks, Putnam and Crosbie each had five kills. Crosbie also had 13 assists. Tess Lawson led the team with 17 digs, while Putnam had 10.
“I wish we could have given Green Canyon a better match tonight,” Pruden said. “Kudos to Green Canyon. They played really well.”
BOBCATS 3, GRIZZLIES 0
Sky View (9-9, 4-2) ended a two-match skid with a sweep of Logan (3-11, 0-6), 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 at Smithfield.
“We trusted each other tonight and played well together,” SV head coach Sheila Sorensen said. “We go to a tournament tomorrow at Bingham. It will be good to keep working on our game.”
Ridgeline and Green Canyon will also be at that tournament.
The Bobcats were led by Kaitlyn Hiatt (5 aces, 2 blocks, 22 assists, 5 digs), Haley McUne (4 aces, 10 kills, passed 2.36, 12 digs), Kelsey Spackman (4 aces, served 100 percent, passed 2.30, 14 digs) and Jenna Gibbons (2 aces, 6 kills, hitting .455, 4 blocks, 4 digs).
MUSTANGS 3, BEARS 0
It took Mountain Crest (11-5, 4-2) less than an hour to take care of Bear River (3-11, 1-5) in three, 25-15, 25-12, 25-15, at Hyrum.
“We had a fun night and all of my girls played really well,” MC head coach Kindra Anderson said. “Beth (Apedaile) really did well on the right side putting the ball away and got a couple of great blocks. Jaycee (Osborne) did a great job running our offense, and I’m really happy with how well we played our game and focused on us. It was a fun night.”
Apedaile had nine kills and two blocks, while Osborne had 19 assists and six digs. Ali Pehrson recorded six kills, six digs and had three aces. Jordon Flippence had seven digs.
INDIANS 3, TIGERS 0
Preston picked up a district win at home in three, dropping Jerome 25-13, 25-21, 25-12.
“We started out slow in the second set and had a hard time finding a rhythm,” Preston head coach Karaska Haskell said. “We had to dig ourselves out of a pretty big hole. They knew they could get after it and take the set back in their control.”
Which the Indians did.
Hailey Meek led the Indians with 14 kills, while Abie Keller and Hailey Winward had nine and seven finishers, respectively. Winward also had four aces and two blocks, while Matti Whitehead also had four aces and seven digs. Keller had seven digs, and Selyce Burnett led the team with three blocks. Hannah Stephenson had 33 assists.