Panguitch cruises to 1A volleyball title; Enterprise takes 2nd in 2A tourney

Panguitch High players and coaches celebrate 1A volleyball state championship, Orem, Utah, Oct. 27, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fischer, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The Panguitch High School Lady Bobcats cruised to the 1A state volleyball championship Saturday in Orem, sweeping all four of their matches over the two-day tournament.

Panguitch High players and coaches celebrate 1A volleyball state championship, Orem, Utah, Oct. 27, 2018 | Photo by Frank Kay Richards for St. George News / Cedar City News

The Lady Bobcats, Region 20’s top seed, defeated Region 19’s Green River and Monument Valley 3-0 on Friday, then swept Intermountain Christian in the semifinals Saturday morning, 25-9, 25-9, 25-8.

Panguitch coach Troy Norris said his team played its best match of the year against Intermountain Christian, holding them to single digits in all three sets.

“ICS is a very good team and ended up third place at state,” Norris said, adding, “McCall Tebbs and Mataya Barney served exceptionally well, which kept ICS off balance so we were able to get a lot of free balls. It is not a good idea to give us free balls because our setters do such an amazing job of keeping the opposing team from knowing where we are going to set. This leaves our hitters hitting against a single block. They are just to good of hitters, so we are able to dominate.”

Panguitch’s servers were stellar throughout the tournament. In Friday’s first match against Green River, Tebbs, a senior, served 19 points in a row to help the Bobcats roll to a 25-3 win in their first set.

Panguitch High players celebrate on court after winning 1A volleyball state championship, Orem, Utah, Oct. 27, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fischer, St. George News / Cedar City News

Saturday morning’s win over ICS put Panguitch in that evening’s championship game against Monticello, where the Lady Bobcats were able to sweep the Buckaroos in three sets, 25-15, 25-14, 25-16.

“The championship match was what I would describe as a total team effort,” Norris said. “Our passing off of the serve was excellent. Most of Monticello’s serves went to Brittney Henrie and Tana Frandsen, and this allowed our hitters to dominate.”

He added:

Our back row players were making amazing saves and digs as well as passing the serves with great accuracy. Our setters did a fantastic job of getting the hitters great balls to hit while keeping the defense off balance.  And then, our front row players were able put up a great block on Monticello and shut their hitters down, and when balls did get by the block, the back row players dug them up. Our hitters are so powerful and good at hitting different shots that one out of every three shots resulted in a kill.

The championship victory capped off a remarkable 27-1 season for the Lady Bobcats, their only loss being a nonregion two-set defeat to North Sanpete at a tournament in Richfield earlier this month.

Panguitch High players Camri Fischer and Mataya Barney celebrate with 1A volleyball state championship trophy, Orem, Utah, Oct. 27, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fischer, St. George News / Cedar City News

“The girls really came together. They are such a fun bunch of girls to coach,” Norris said, adding that the team expects to be a top contender next year and beyond, as the Lady Bobcats won nearly all of their matches this year at the junior varsity and freshman level.

Norris said he’s even more impressed by the girls’ academic success off the court, noting that the volleyball team has a combined grade point average of 3.95 out of 4.0.

“Our girls are so involved it amazes me how they can do so many things and do them well,” he said. “The top three girls on the cross country team also play volleyball. And of course, these same girls will play multiple other sports as those seasons come.”

Enterprise takes home runner-up trophy in 2A tournament

In other action at the state volleyball tournaments staged at Utah Valley University last week, the Enterprise Lady Wolves fell short of victory in the 2A championship match, as North Summit rallied from behind to win its third straight state title Saturday afternoon.

Enterprise had swept its first three games of the two-day tournament to advance to the title match.

In the championship match, the Lady Wolves won two of the first three sets, 25-20, 14-25, and 25-20, but dropped the fourth set to North Summit, 21-25. That tied the match 2-2 and set up a decisive fifth set to 15 points.

Enterprise led 14-12 late in the final set, needing only one more point to win the state championship. But North Summit rallied to score the next four points and win the title, stunning the Lady Wolves and their fans.

“The match was one of runs. We just ended up on the wrong end of a run,” said Enterprise head coach Brian Phelps.

“We had a great season,” Phelps added, noting that the Lady Wolves finished their season with a 27-5 overall record, which included an unbeaten 11-0 record in Region 18 play. Enterprise’s squad had some of the top category leaders in the classification, with Ronnie Robinson leading 2A schools in hitting and second in blocks, Timorie Phelps leading 2A in receptions and digs, and Allie Laub leading 2A in assists.

Enterprise High players and coaches pose after the Lady Wolves finished as runners-up in the 2A volleyball state championship, Orem, Utah, Oct. 27, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Enterprise High Athletics, St. George News / Cedar City News

Updated Oct. 30, 7 p.m. to include additional information about Enterprise and a team photo.

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