ST. GEORGE — In Region 9 volleyball action this week, three teams went undefeated, with Crimson Cliffs, Snow Canyon and Cedar each winning both of their matches. In addition, Desert Hills and Dixie both went 1-1, with each ending up on opposite ends of a sweep.
Snow Canyon and Desert Hills are now tied for the region lead with 9-3 records, but Desert Hills still has the edge in the RPI index with a No. 6 ranking, while Snow Canyon is ranked 10th among 4A teams. Meanwhile, the Cedar Lady Reds team, which is a half-game behind first place, has an RPI ranking of 5 after winning both of their contests this week.
Snow Canyon 3, Dixie 0
Snow Canyon was on a six-game win streak coming into their final home game and their senior night celebration. That momentum continued into their game against Dixie, as they swept the Flyers 25-21, 25-17 and 25-18.
Snow Canyon is the hottest team in the region, and they are blossoming at the right time. Head coach Markay Thorkelson said her team had some struggles early but has bounced back and is in a great position to make a run at a region championship.
“After the start of the season, on our road trips, it was kind of frustrating because I knew our girls had more,” Thorkelson said. “It was just a matter of them coming together and figuring out how to play together.”
Katie Langford has played a big role in the success the Warriors have seen lately, as she does a great job not only hitting but also blocking and passing. Something unique about Langford is that they play her all the way around, even in the back row, which is not something many volleyball teams do. By playing her in the back row, she is an option as a hitter but also has to be able to pass at a high level. Thorkelson talked about the factors that go into playing her middle the entire game.
“Definitely her offense, because other teams have to honor her wherever she is on the court, but there are two other things going into it,” Thorkleson said. “Her passing is really quite stellar; she keeps it simple, and she can keep the ball inside her. The second thing is, when you’re on the court the entire time, you stay in the game, and your momentum stays there.”
While Langford proves to be the main target for the Warriors, and a lot of the sets go to her, sophomore Jenna Thorkelson also does a great job moving the ball around the court. Since defenses are so focused on Langford, that leaves open lanes for other hitters. Jenna Thorkelson is a young player who has been developing throughout the season.
“Its good. You know she’s still young and still learning a lot,” Markay Thorkelson said. “Tonight we saw a lot of great things where we were all saying, ‘Yes, that’s what we wanted.’ She’s kind of learning the game and feeling it, so it’s good.”
With the Warriors on a hot streak, their final stretch of games will be crucial. RPI rankings are on the line, as well as a region title.
“It’s huge right now because we are trying to solidify in that RPI score where we need to be,” Thorkelson said. “You can see what’s going on, but you’ve got to play your game. We can’t do silly things from here on out.”
Dixie plays Desert Hills on Tuesday, then finishes out the region schedule the week after with a game against Pine View.
Snow Canyon has a similar schedule, but they will be playing against Hurricane on Tuesday and Cedar the following week. Both of those teams are in the mix for the region title, so the Warriors have a tough stretch ahead of them.
Crimson Cliffs 3, Pine View 0
Crimson Cliffs followed up their sweep against Desert Hills with another sweep against Pine View, 25-16, 25-23 and 25-15.
Chloe Bunker had 16 kills, and freshman Riann Gines followed her with nine kills. As a whole team, the Mustangs had 13 aces, which played a big part in their win.
Crimson Cliffs plays one game next week at Cedar on Tuesday, with both teams in a tight race for first place in the region.
Pine View also plays on Tuesday at Canyon View, with that being their only game of the week as well.
Cedar 3, Hurricane 1
At Cedar City, the Lady Reds won the first two sets 25-12 and 25-16 before giving up the third set to Hurricane, 25-18. Cedar then bounced back to win the fourth set 25-17 and capture the match.
Cedar has back-to-back home games next week against Crimson Cliffs on Tuesday and Canyon View on Thursday. Crimson Cliffs will be a big game, as both teams are fighting for a possible share of the Region 9 championship.
For Hurricane, they play Snow Canyon at home on Tuesday and finish the Region 9 season the following week.
Desert Hills 3, Canyon View 0
The Desert Hills Thunder bounced back from their loss to Crimson Cliffs and swept Canyon View on senior night, 25-7, 25-9 and 25-14.
Canyon View plays at home against Pine View on Tuesday, then on the road against crosstown rival Cedar on Thursday.
Desert Hills has only one game next week – an away game against Dixie on Tuesday.
Crimson Cliffs 3, Desert Hills 0
Crimson Cliffs took down the top ranked Desert Hills Thunder, sweeping them at home. The Mustangs won 26-24, 25-20 and 25-22.
Chloe Bunker had 16 kills for the Mustangs, while Lydia Lindquist contributed 10 kills of her own to help Crimson Cliffs. On the defensive side of things for the Mustangs, Allie Laub had 27 digs on the night.
For Desert Hills, Kami Bliss had 11 kills and 12 digs.
Snow Canyon 3, Canyon View 1
Snow Canyon continued on their hot streak, winning their sixth straight game against Canyon View in Cedar City.
Katie Langford led the way with 22 kills for the Warriors, while seniors Sophie Robinson and Hallie Remund both had eight kills.
After losing a close first set, 26-24, Snow Canyon bounced back, taking the final three sets 25-17, 25-16 and 25-23.
Cedar 3, Pine View 0
At Cedar City, the Lady Reds swept the Pine View Panthers, 25-16, 25-19 and 25-17.
Cedar head coach Nicole Anglin said her players were focused on bouncing back after getting swept at home by Dixie last week.
“If the light bulb flickers, you just screw it in a little tighter,” Anglin said. “We were determined to get back on top of our game.”
Anglin said the Lady Reds are scheduled to play in an invitational tournament in Ogden this coming weekend against several larger schools, including 6A and 5A teams.
“We’re excited and ready to play those bigger schools,” she said.
Dixie 3, Hurricane 0
Dixie swept Hurricane at home, winning 25-21. 25-20 and 25-18.
Cedar City News reporter Jeff Richards contributed to coverage of these games
Region 9 volleyball standings (as of Oct. 11)
- (tie) Desert Hills 9-3 (#6 in Class 4A RPI)
- (tie) Snow Canyon 9-3 (#10 in Class 4A RPI)
- Cedar 8-3 (#5 in Class 4A RPI)
- Crimson Cliffs 8-4 (#11 in Class 4A RPI)
- (tie) Hurricane 5-7 (#13 in Class 4A RPI)
- (tie) Dixie 5-7 (#14 in Class 4A RPI)
- Canyon View 2-10 (#18 in Class 4A RPI)
- Pine View 1-11 (#19 in Class 4A RPI)
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