AMERICAN FORK Teamwork and solid defense helped the West Jordan Jaguars to their first victory of the season against American Fork as they came back from an early deficit to defeat the Cavemen 21-25, 25-18-, 25-23, 25-18 in four thrilling games.
The two teams took turns making long runs throughout the games, and the Jaguars came out on top as they took their runs to the finish in each of the final three games.
"We just kept digging the ball. We didn't make silly mistakes and played the way we can play. They came out strong in Game 1 and kept it up through the whole match," said West Jordan coach Heather Johnson.
She noted how the entire Jaguar team had come out strong with every player contributing as Kortni Atkinson led things in the back court while Becca Rollman took over on offense with nine kills. The rest of the squad showed plenty of balance as Katie Lovendale finished with five kills, Melissa Maxfield added six, and Jessica Moore added four.
West Jordan came out strong to start the first game, but after the Cavemen tied things up for the fifth time in the game at 19 apiece, American Fork came on strong to finish things off by winning six of the final eight points.
But that was the only comeback they would make that would stick to the end as after leading at the beginning of the second game and fighting through another five ties early, the Jaguars went on a lengthy run to take a 17-12 lead and never looked back.
American Fork's Makenzie Moea'i did punch down 11 kills in the match, at times looking like one of the top spikers in the state, but the team showed a little bit of its inexperience throughout the match with missed passes, tough sets and inconsistent timing. Jessica Jardine did add seven kills for the Cavemen, and sophomore Hayley Su'a-Filo finished with four as the Cavemen showed flashes of brilliance.
Game 3 was the most exciting of the match as the two teams fought through another six ties and five lead changes. Perhaps the most important point of the game with the Cavemen ahead 23-22. A long rally, which featured impressive digs by libero Annie Christensen and setter Brooke Miller, ended in the Jaguars' favor, and the air went out of the Cavemen's sails.American Fork was able to take the lead in Game 4, but after West Jordan tied things for the eighth time in the game at 15 all, the Jaguars went on yet another impressive run to finish things off and come away with the 3-1 victory. It was American Fork's first match of the season, but the Jaguars improved their record to 1-1 after losing to Region 4's Lehi three games to one in their season opener.