OREM The Cavemen are through to the semifinals.
Though they haven't been counted among the 5A favorites all season long, American Fork came through when it counted the most, battling to the end of a five-game match in the first round and then finishing off surprising Davis in the quarterfinals 25-23, 28-26, 25-20.
American Fork had to fight through a war in the first round against Layton, finally securing its spot in the second round with a 15-8 victory in the fifth, while Davis, the Region 1 fifth seed, upset the No. 1 team from Region 3 in Riverton.
"I don't know what to say," said out-of-breath and exhilarated first-year American Fork coach Danette Moea'i, adding, "It wasn't a bad night, not many goose eggs out there."
Her team played a balanced match against the Darts, led by Tatum Porter with 16 kills and sophomore Makenzie Moea'i with 13 kills and 17 digs.
Moea'i finished off the match with a solid powerful kill, sending the Cavemen into the tournament semifinals against Skyline today at 12:30 p.m. at the McKay Events Center.
The Cavemen took a 21-15 lead in the first game before Davis, behind some nice serving by McKenzie Garrett, came back to take their own 22-21 lead. The Cavemen then righted the ship to finally finish off Game 1 before heading into a back-and-forth Game 2 battle.
The second game went through 12 ties and six lead changes before American Fork finally fought off a game-point at 25-26 with a kill by Moea'i then finished things off on another Moea'i kill and a Davis error.
The American Fork coach had plenty of good things to say about her star players, noting, "Makenzie, Rae (Mulitalo) and Tatum are just our bread and butter."
In addition to the thrilling kills by Porter and Moea'i, Mulitalo added 32 assists and four digs, while Brooke Miller finished with 27 digs and the American Fork block was solid.
"I thought Christina (Laws) came off the bench and did a good job blocking, especially in Games 1 and 2. She helped plug up the middle," said Moea'i.
The Cavemen came back in the third game, and after fighting through eight ties, went on a 5-1 run at the end to finish it off.The Darts will play Fremont at 12:30 today in the fifth-place bracket.
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