LEHI — Pleasant Grove defeated Syracuse 25-18, 25-21 to win the 2017 Wasatch Volleyball Festival.
The Vikings won the inaugural event last year with their JV team, and this year's varsity team was more than good enough to best the 33-team field.
On Friday, the 33 teams were put in 11 pools of three teams, and Pleasant Grove defeated Wasatch and Salem Hills in straight sets.
After Friday's competition, the top 24 teams were put in pools of six teams with the winner of each of these pools getting a chance to compete in the gold bracket to determine the overall tournament winner.
The Vikings went 3-0 in pool play Saturday, beating Kuna (Idaho), Ridgeline and North Sanpete.
Pleasant Grove, along with the Lone Peak JV team, received byes in the opening round of the gold bracket. Copper Hills defeated Skyridge in the opening round to advance to play Pleasant Grove while Syracuse defeated Westlake in the other first-round matchup.
Pleasant Grove then took out Copper Hills 25-14, 25-22, while Syracuse downed Lone Peak JV 25-22, 25-20 to make the championship match. The Vikings then took care of business against the Titans to secure their second straight festival tournament title.
In the silver bracket (teams ranked 7-12 based on Saturday's pool play), Corner Canyon came away with title. Rocky Mountain (Idaho) won the bronze bracket title (13-18), while Spanish Fork won the challenger bracket (19-24).
“There were two things that we were wanting to get out of this tournament, and that was serving and performing under pressure,” said Vikings head coach Allyce Jones.
It seemed like those goals were definitely accomplished as the Vikings didn't drop a single set in seven matches over two days.
Skyridge was the main host of the event, though Pleasant Grove and Lone Peak also held games. Skyridge head coach Deanna Meyer served as tournament director and was happy how the event turned out and grateful for the support coming from a number of sources.
“There was a lot of outstanding talent in this year’s tournament,” said Meyer. “I am also grateful for all the teams that participated, Pleasant Grove and Lone Peak for co-hosting, and our parents, players and faculty that helped make the tournament a success.”
Jones was happy how things went over the two days of the tournament and the opportunity to be involved.
"It's been a great tournament," said Jones. "Deanna (Meyer) is the real mastermind of the tournament."
Brian Preece is a freelance sports writer. He was also the head wrestling coach at Provo High School from 1994-2006 and in 2006 Preece was named as the Utah Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.