OREM The Orem Tigers took Step 1 to defending their Region 7 title Thursday by defeating the Provo Bulldogs in three convincing games, 25-19, 25-16, 25-9.
Last year the Tigers opened up against the Bulldogs and found themselves on the losing end of a similar score, so this season it was even more important for them to come out strong in the opening match of their league season.
"Provo beat us in the first match last year, so it was nice to come out in this one and pretty much control the game the whole time," said Orem coach Natalie Kidman, who is hoping this is a good omen for the squad she hopes can repeat as Region 7 champs and head into state with a load of confidence and momentum.
"Our passing is so much better, and we have so many offensive threats. Our serving was big. It kept them out of the game," she said.
But because of those big serves, including five service aces and others that kept the Bulldogs on their heels, they also went through a stretch in Game 2 where they tossed in six service errors.
Sophomore hitter Hannah Robison proved she can not only hit the ball for a kill, she can also rocket it from the back court. Her coach notes, that sometimes she's even better from back court.
"Her timing is getting better. I've been telling her to swing harder, and she's been connecting a lot more. Her balls are going down with a lot more authority," said Kidman of the hitter, who pounded out eight kills and stuffed four solo blocks.
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