ST. GEORGE — The Dixie Flyers beat the Pine View Panthers on Tuesday in four sets, 25-14, 19-25, 25-18, and 29-27.
Dixie coach Stacy Leavitt said the game wasn’t as clean as she would have liked, but the Flyers were able to win under pressure.
“We came through when situations were tight, and we have been struggling with that,” Leavitt said. “They were able to finish the ball game, side out real quick and just compete that way.”
For coach Jared Wilkinson at Pine View, he has seen his team developing since the start of the year, and they gave Dixie a run for their money in this game. That improvement was kickstarted after the Panthers got their first win of the season against Canyon View.
“From the beginning of the year, we’ve had some positional changes, and that’s helped a ton,” Wilkinson said. “The biggest thing is them developing a belief that we can play. It was a slow process. Finally when we broke through against Canyon View, it gave us a lot of belief. It was a tough match tonight. Dixie played tough, and we made a few errors down the stretch that really hurt us.”
One of the biggest mistakes for the Panthers came in the final set, as the score went back and forth. Pine View made a substitution error, and a point was given to Dixie. The Flyers would then score the next point to win the set 29-27.
Savannah Cazier led the Flyers with 14 kills, and when they needed a big point, Cazier was the main target. She spoke about what it’s like being one of the team’s biggest threats on offense.
“It’s pretty nice, but I like when we separate it out towards all of the hitters because then we all get a chance,” said Cazier. “It’s nice to be able to be confident and put the ball away.”
Cazier has been a mainstay on offense for Dixie, and her coach talked about how they expect a lot out of her.
“She’s one of them, but not only that; it’s her composure on the court, and she hustles,” Leavitt said. “She went through a little bit of a slump, but that’s just sports, and you’re going to do that, and she’s battling back through it.”
Leavitt also spoke highly of her libero, senior Halle Anderson, and her ability to take charge without hesitating. Anderson has been dealing with a broken hand but played Tuesday with a brace on. She has been a huge factor for the Flyers and had 20 digs against Pine View.
“She’s been a starter for me since she was a sophomore, and that’s just one of those things where the more she’s out there the better we’re going to be,” Leavitt said. “Now she’s starting to finally get back into her groove. When Savannah is on, we’re going to be better, when Aubrey is on, we’re going to be better, with the middles, same thing – just putting it all together.”
Dixie takes on Crimson Cliffs next. Leavitt said she is looking to work on the various personnel changes and injuries that have plagued the Flyers.
“Playing our tempo, because that’s what we’re trying to continue, tempo and staying engaged,” she said. “We’ve had some bumps in the road with injuries and getting players to play new positions, so we’ve been working through that.”
For Pine View, their program is in a developmental phase, and Wilkinson said their players need to learn how to perform in tight situations.
“We’re just looking at execution when the pressure is on the line – having that confidence to get back there and swing for a point versus just playing it safe, and I think that’s the biggest thing,” he said. “To win those matches, we have to play like a team who knows how to win.”
The Panthers play Hurricane in their second game of the week on Thursday.
Region 9 volleyball standings as of 9/25:
- Desert Hills 7-0
- Cedar 4-2
- Crimson Cliffs 5-3
- Snow Canyon 4-3
- Hurricane 3-4
- Canyon View 2-4
- Dixie 2-5
- Pine View 1-6
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