OREM The Bees weren't savoring the "championship" they thought they'd be celebrating, but it was still pretty sweet.
"It's OK," said Box Elder senior right side hitter Tiffany Wilde after the third-ranked Bees defeated the top-ranked Rams 19-25, 27-25, 25-18, 18-25, 15-12 in consolation play to take third place in the 4A tournament Saturday.
"We were the champions of the north."
Wilde said it was difficult to re-group after losing a semi-final match to Dixie in five games, as well.
"It was hard to come back, hard to pull together," said the senior who was named to the Deseret Morning News All-Tournament Team. "But we wanted to go out winning."
Coach Robyn Mecham said turning her team around after the bitter disappointment wasn't easy but that they showed a lot of poise.
"It took a lot of talking," she said. "It was one of the hardest things to do. I'm really proud of them for picking it up. They played really well."
And while it wasn't the win they planned on ending the season with, it still helped them feel like celebrating.
"This does makes us feel better," she said with a grin. "What a great match. I might be good to call it a draw."
Wilde lead the team with 14 kills and nine blocks, while senior Mandy Munns added 14 kills. Stephanie Talbot finished with 11 kills, while Alyssa Everett, middle, earned eight kills and four blocks. Melanie Smith added five blocks.
Setter Brooke Tolman, a senior, finished with 40 assists in the win.
Highland's Brittny Lolohea led the Rams offense, and she was named to the all-tournament team for her two-day performance.
Setter/opposite hitter Losa Fakaosi and libero Trish Haslam also played well for Highland. Junior setter Cristabel played another solid match and has been one of the team's most consistent.
The Rams struggled some in the middle after junior Niki Lolohea sprained her ankle and couldn't play most of the time. Kave Lea'atoa filled in well, but the Bees height and quickness were a problem at times for the Rams.The loss means the Rams finish fourth in the tournament.