SV volleyball team finishes strong
SMITHFIELD — Composure is a must in tight volleyball matches.
Sky View knows that. Mountain Crest is learning.
The Bobcats withstood Mustang rally after rally Wednesday night. In the end, Sky View opened Region 1 play with a victory at Bobcat Gym in straight sets, 25-16, 25-23, 25-14.
“It’s always great to start region with a good, in-valley rival and to come away with a win is even better,” SV coach Malayna Knowles said. “... Mountain Crest doesn’t quit. I felt like we made enough errors that helped them come back and get in it. Hopefully we can correct that.”
Mountain Crest (10-4, 1-1 region) opened each of the first two sets by grabbing the lead. The Mustangs also surged to an advantage in the third, but could not hold on.
“Credit is due where it’s due and Sky View did great,” MC coach Madeline Dolny said. “They (Bobcats) put pressure on us. We were unable to fight back as a team. They were prepared and willing to go all out on us, and they did and did great.”
Sky View (7-2, 1-0) used a 9-1 surge to finish off the third set and secure the match. AveRee Knowles had three of her match-best 12 kills during the final stretch. She finished off the victory for the hosts with a kill and hit .333 for the match.
“We work in practice a lot on finishing,” Bobcat Hunter Krebs said.
And they did that in each set Wednesday night. Trailing 8-6 in the third after a 6-0 run by the Mustangs, the Bobcats surged behind the serving of Coryn Bodily. A kill by AveRee Knowles gave the home team the lead for good.
“We trust each other and know we are going to get it,” said Krebs, who had six blocks. “... I think we are going to do really well in region.”
Mountain Crest had its best chance at getting a set in the second. There were 13 ties and seven lead changes.
Knotted at 23-23, Dawson Day finished off a kill for Sky View. Cheyenne Naegle then gave the hosts the set with a tip.
“I felt like we stayed composed,” coach Knowles said. “Nobody on the court was panicked, like we might not get this. They recognized what we were doing and did a great job maintaining their composure and playing our game.”
In the first set, there were five ties and one lead change. The Bobcats used a 5-0 spurt late in the set to get some breathing room. Abby Harper had two of her three aces during that stretch.
“That’s a tough loss for us, because we were not playing as a team,” Dolny said. “They understand that and are going to grow from it. ... This is a great life skill learning aspect of the game. ... We need to grow from it and get better. We don’t want to happen again. We are going to continue to grow.”
Meanwhile, the Bobcats are off to another great start in league play.
“I feel really lucky that I have so many kids that I can put in and they will do a good job,” coach Knowles said. “And they love each other; they want to work hard for each other. They want to see each other do well and be successful. Right now, we are past some of my expectations as far as team chemistry. We can fine tune and tweak at this point of the season.”
Harper joined AveRee Knowles in double-digit kills with 10. Kaylee Carlsen had 20 assists, and the setter drew praise from her coach. Libero Courtney Stuart, who had 12 digs, was also praised.
“When we play our rivals, it’s always going to be tough game,” Krebs said. “We knew that we had to pull together and finish each of the sets. We just came together.”
Mountain Crest was led by Haley Baldwin and Kenzie Baldwin with nine and seven kills, respectively. Sammie Osborne had 10 assists, while Ragen Flippence had eight. Flippence and Taryn Taylor had two aces each.
Before the match began, cousins AveRee Knowles and Osborne were joined by their teammates in honoring their grandfather, who is dealing with serious health issues. Each player presented him with a rose.