If there is one thing that can be said about Region 1 volleyball it's that there is no team that can't beat another.
"I thought our region was so tough," said Viewmont coach Lori Salvo. "From top to bottom ... It wasn't like any team was easy."
The Vikings emerged as region champions with a 13-1 region record. Their one loss came against the second-place squad from Fremont. While some regions have a drop-off of some sort from the top to the bottom, all of the teams in 5A's northern region were capable of upsetting those top squads.
That's one of the reasons Salvo was proud of her team's accomplishment, which included a third-place finish in the 5A state tournament.
"I wasn't sure how we'd do at first," she said. "I knew we had talented, but I didn't know if we could get that mental part ... I think it was a great achievement (third place at state), especially because it's so hard to lose and then come back and play that third-place game. I think it says a lot about my team to come back and play well in that game."
Viewmont loses four seniors to graduation, and while that doesn't seem significant, Salvo said they'll be tough to replace. They are Ada Robinson, middle hitter, Britny Mortensen, outside hitter, Amy Earnshaw, libero, and Lynsi Barnes, defensive specialist.
"Ada, that's going to be tough," said Salvo of replacing her. "She's still getting better. I think she could really go somewhere and play, but she is probably going to do track. ... It's just amazing what she's done."
Mortensen, she said, "was a leader on the floor. She brought a lot of camaraderie to the team."
Earnshaw and Barnes anchored the team's defense and were willing to do whatever the team needed to have a successful season.
"It's so hard to lose those seniors," she said. "Even at our last practice, we just didn't want it to end."
The Vikings have a lot to look forward to with junior outside Fiona Jones, junior middle/rightside Natalie Bonner, and junior Chloe Muse returning next season.
Fremont finished second in region play with losses to Viewmont and Northridge. The Silver Wolves struggled at times despite having some very talented hitters. One of those, Analaine Pelaez, will graduate, and while she'll be missed, fans can take comfort in the knowledge that juniors Erica Nish and Bethany Wray will return. They give Fremont height and athleticism.
The Silver Wolves took seventh place in the tournament, losing the consolation match to Brighton on Saturday.
Layton was third place but had a disappointing outing at the state tournament, losing in the second consolation match to Riverton. The Lancers lose just one senior, Shaley Stevens, and return a host of talented underclassmen, including freshman middle Mariah Katoa.
Northridge was fourth place and ended up with the worst draw of any team. They met eventual state champion Lone Peak undefeated against Utah teams in the first round of the tournament. The Knights relied on outside hitters Alexis Furlong and Lorin McDavid, as well as Andrea Marshall in their success this season.
Northridge also did well in consolation play winning matches against Taylorsville, Lehi and then losing in the sixth-place game to Pleasant Grove. The Knights finished eighth at state.
Davis was fifth place in region play and the Darts enjoyed the tournament's biggest upset when they defeated Region 3's top seeded Riverton in the first round of the 5A tournament. Davis lost in the second round to American Fork, which finished fifth, and then the team was eliminated by region rival Fremont in consolation play Saturday.
Davis loses four seniors - Kelsey Campbell, Megan Baczuk, Maren Sargent and Airyn LeFevre - but they return junior middle Alli Blake, sophomore hitter Danielle Downs, and sophomore setter Kortnee Webster among other promising athletes.
Clearfield, Weber and Syracuse didn't make the tournament, but both have promising athletes returning and will make the region one of the toughest in the state against next season.
The Falcons were led by players like hitter Alexis Adams, setter Kylie Yardley, hitter Shelby Wilcox, libero Randee Bullard, hitter Ashlee Barker and hitter Kylee Young. Weber was led by athletes like Jessie Toriek and Jayde Johnston, Shay Sorensen, and Katie Wahlen.Syracuse didn't have any seniors as a new school, but they have a talented coach and some great young athletes in the program.
E-mail: [email protected]