OREM North Sevier did some heavy scouting on its opposition from Layton Christian before coming into the 2A state volleyball tournament. And it came in extremely handy when the Wolves had to take on the big hitters the Eagles bring to the table.
The Wolves were able to hold the Eagles' hitters under control and sweep their tough competition from the tournament quarterfinals in three rigorous games, 25-20, 29-27, 25-23.
But the Wolves came into the contest undaunted, even though they were taking on Region 14's champs.
"Region 12 is so hard. Every week we had tough games, so when it comes to tough competition, it's play or get killed," said North Sevier coach Jill Porter.
The Wolves came out strong in the first game and set a tone right from the start as Melissa Porter started hammering down the first of her 20 kills in the match. She finished with a kill on game point, giving her team a little momentum and a burst of confidence.
The Wolves led for most of the second game before finding themselves suddenly tied at 18 when the Layton Christian hitters got it going. Jasmine Porter, Alexi Johnson and Tess Lawrence led the way for the Eagles as time and again they brought their team back into the contest. But a couple of errors after a 27-27 tie gave the second game to North Sevier as well.
The Eagles were undaunted by the two-game deficit and came out strong in Game 3, planning to take things to five. They held an 11-6 lead early on, but North Sevier just kept chipping into the advantage, finally evening things up at 22 and then taking charge for the final victory.
"Our libero PeeWee (Kenze Johnson) has saved our butts all year long," said Porter as she noted the tiny junior came up with 21 digs on some tough Eagle hits.
Chanda Hallows and McKenzie Torgerson each finished with six kills for the Wolves, and Whitney Mickelsen finished with 30 assists, as her coach noted, "she can put the ball anywhere."
The Wolves now head into the semifinals against Enterprise at 12:30 p.m. today.
"We've played Enterprise twice this year, and we've split with them. You've just gotta keep moving on them. They're a scrappy team, they keep the ball in play," said Porter.
Layton Christian will play Richfield in the consolation bracket at the same time.
Enterprise 3 Richfield 1: After dueling Juab through five tough games, Enterprise came out a short while later to take on a tough Richfield squad. They were able to take care of business against the Wildcats in only four, 25-15, 19-25, 25-21, 25-17.
"I was afraid it was gonna kill us," Enterprise coach Brian Phelps said about the nine intense games the team went through on its way to the semis of the 2A volleyball tournament.
"When we're aggressive we're very good, but when we get soft we're very bad," said Phelps, who also noted that his team had to fight hard against the Richfield block because the Wildcats' height was giving them some problems.
The Wolves were led by Jessica Hunt with 20 kills and 20 digs in the match, and Aubrey Green also showed up strong with 16 kills, 12 digs, 13 assists and five blocks. Shayla Simpkins finished with 10 kills and 13 digs, Tressa Lyman had 19 digs and 11 blocks, Crystal Porter had 22 digs and six blocks, and Shanley Truman finished with 32 assists.
San Juan 3 South Summit 2: In one of the toughest matches of the tournament so far, the Broncos held on for the marathon 25-20, 24-26, 23-25, 25-21, 16-14 win.
Niether one of these teams could manage any kind of a lead at all so it was back and forth all the way through with just a couple of key points at the end of each game the deciding factor.
San Juan is now exactly where it planned to be at the beginning of the year, back into the semifinals and hoping to take its fifth straight title. But this year the Broncos had to battle a little harder than they had hoped.San Juan will now take on South Sevier in the semifinals at 10:30 today at the McKay Events Center, and South Summit will battle North Summit in the consolation bracket at the same time.
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