PLEASANT GROVE — Whenever the Lone Peak Knights and Pleasant Grove Vikings meet on the volleyball court, the date of the matches are circled on the calendar well in advance.
“It’s a measuring stick,” said Lone Peak coach Reed Carlson. “It tells us who we are and how much we need to improve.”
The two teams battled for the 6A state championship last year and, two weeks ago, the Knights proved to be the better team. They battled each other again Tuesday and — again — Lone Peak emerged on top with a 25-20, 25-13, 25-23 victory.
Kennedi Boyd and Rae Montrose were credited with five blocks apiece, and Tasia Farmer confused Pleasant Grove with her serves as Lone Peak stayed undefeated against in-state competition and remained on top of the Region 4 standings.
The difference? Both teams traveled to the Durango High School tournament in Las Vegas last week to test themselves against out-of-state competition. Lone Peak finished with a 5-3 record playing mostly California schools.
“It was good for us,” Carlson said. “We learned that we can’t take time off during a match. Those schools play like the Pac-12 … every game matters.”
The Knights also had some setbacks against Pleasant Grove, the 2014 state champion that has fallen in the title match every year since, including the last two years to Lone Peak. With a good-sized home crowd on hand, the Vikings led much of the first game, but couldn’t close it out. After Lone Peak rallied from a seven-point deficit, the Knights kept the momentum to handily win Game 2 and then fought back from another deficit in the final game to frustrate their neighborhood rival yet again.
“We’re a young team,” said Pleasant Grove coach Allyce Jones. “We played a lot of good teams down in Las Vegas, and we’re learning, but we have a long ways to go.”Comment on this story
The Vikings dropped to 1-2 in region and haven’t yet secured a spot at the state tournament, which starts Nov. 1 at nearby Utah Valley University. Both schools have also noted Bingham’s improvement could keep them from getting a comfortable seed until late in the regular season.
“It was an ‘all right’ match,” said Carlson. “It wasn’t very clean. We had some difficult moments, and the girls expected me to do something, but I just let them ride it out and get through it. We did what we needed to do.”