Bingham High volleyball fans are finding a difference between quality and quantity - do the Miner fans want to get their money's worth of volleyball action or do they want to see another one of Bingham's many two-game sweeps?
"I kinda hope it goes to three games," said one Bingham student, mindful of the best-of-three format as he entered Thursday night's Bingham-Provo quarterfinal matchup in the 4A state tournament.It didn't last that long as defending 4A champion Bingham dispatched Provo in two games, 15-6, 15-8, on the Miners' home court. It served as the quarterfinal finale in one of four four-team mini-playoffs, with the first two rounds of the state tournament being hosted by the top-seeded teams from each of the 4A leagues.
Three of those four top seeds advanced as quarterfinal winners, with Skyline and Mountain View joining Bingham as victorious hosts move into Saturday's semifinals Pleasant Grove pulled the lone upset by defeating Region 1 No. 1 Weber.
For a complete listing of Saturday's pairings, match times and sites, please see the prep volleyball tournament schedule in the Scoreboard section on page D4.
You can easily count the number of times that the Miners have been taken to the three-game maximum this season, and you can count the number of times that the defending 4A titlist have been beaten - just once, by 1989 3A champ Springville in a matchup of second-year state contenders.
Most of the time, the Miners have cruised their way to victory with minimal resistance. Surprisingly, it's being done with only two starters back from last year's 4A championship team - 6-foot-3 middle blocker Debbie Dimond and 6-foot-1 frontline mate KaeCee Arnold.
"We've got four new faces out there," said Bingham Coach Esther Halliday, "and we're excited with their play. They're every bit as good of a team as last year."
That has been a frightening reality as Bingham has had its way for a second season - Dimond dominating along the net, Arnold showing versatility on the front line, the back line and behind the service line; Becky Anderson handling the setting chores, and Melyssa McInnes, Stacey Peterson and Michelle Peterson serving as more than merely a supporting cast.
The Miners worked a 3-2 first-game lead into an 8-3 advantage, thanks to several Dimond kills and a couple of Arnold service aces. Bingham quickly worked the margin to 11-3 as McInnes stymied Provo with some unreturnable serves before the Miners settled for the 15-6 first-game win.
Bingham edged out to another 3-2 lead before the Miners reeled off five straight points, with Peterson serving aces and Dimond unleashing kills and stifling Provo shots with solo blocks.
Provo turned a 12-2 deficit into a 13-8 score as Jana Benally countered with several resounding kills. But Provo's woes were that Bingham was able to score points in bunches in both games while Benally was taking her turn on the back row in the Bulldog rotation, and Bingham eventually claimed the quarterfinal triumph with a 15-8 second-game victory.
In the consolation game, Davis defeated Alta 15-13, 13-12 to stay alive in the losers' bracket. In first-round action, Bingham downed Davis 15-3, 15-6, and Provo rebounded from a first-game loss to beat Alta, 11-15, 15-12, 15-8.
At Weber High: Weber was the sole league top-seed and first-day tournament host to take a tumble, but the Warriors went to the three-game maximum before falling to Pleasant Grove 15-6, 11-15, 15-11. Brighton eliminated Kearns in another three-game contest in the consolation bracket, 15-7, 13-15, 15-11. In Thursday's earlier first-round action, Pleasant Grove beat Brighton 15-11, 15-6, while Weber downed Kearns 15-8, 15-13.
At Skyline High: The host Eagles downed Cyprus 15-5, 15-9 in the nightcap quarterfinal after Skyline had easily defeated Granger 15-1, 15-2 and Cyprus had surprised Roy 15-12, 15-13 in the afternoon's first round. Roy ousted Granger from the tournament in the second-round consolation game, 15-9, 15-8.
At Mountain View High: The 1989 runner-up Bruins advanced to Saturday's semifinals with a 15-8, 15-6 triumph over Taylorsville in quarterfinal competition. Mountain View defeated Cottonwood 15-4, 15-2 in the first round, and Taylorsville downed Layton 15-7, 15-6 in Thursday's first round. Layton remained alive on consolation competition with a 15-8, 3-15, 15- 5 second-round victory over Cottonwood.