OREM – The 3A volleyball teams are packing up and heading to Orem. The 16 teams competing are almost identical to last year’s entries. The only newcomers are Ridgeline and Juab, who square off in the first round. Last year Morgan had to win its opening round game then defeat three straight Region 9 teams (Pine View, Desert Hills, Snow Canyon) to win the championship.
But they did so in dominant fashion. Look for Morgan and Region 9 to dominate once again. However, Park City also looks like it could join the mix. Snow Canyon has taken a step back this year, but the top three teams from Region 9 are capable of knocking off the Lady Trojans. Below are the team capsules and predictions for the first two rounds of the tournament:
Volleyball Team Capsules and STGNews Picks
FIRST ROUND MATCHUPS
Match 1 Juan Diego v. Richfield; Court 1, 4 p.m.
JUAN DIEGO SOARING EAGLE (Draper)
Coach: Stephanie Jones
Overall Record: 15-8
Region 11 Record: 8-2 (2nd)
Record against the field: 7-3
Current Ranking: 6th
Coach: Holly Robinson
Overall Record: 19-11
Region 12 Record: 5-3 (3rd)
Record against the field: 5-5
Current Ranking: 8th
A close first-round matchup, but the Soaring Eagle has fared better against stiffer competition. Pick: Juan Diego
Match 2 Desert Hills v. Tooele, Court 2, 4 p.m.
DESERT HILLS THUNDER (St. George)
Coach: Jill Swaney
Overall Record: 22-7
Region 9 Record: 10-0 (1st)
Record against the field: 8-0
Current Ranking: 2nd
Coach: Kristi Brown
Overall Record: 8-18
Region 10 Record: 3-5
Record against the field: 3-9
Current Ranking: 13th
Desert Hills lost only two sets in their sweep of Region 9, arguably the best region from top to bottom. Pick: Desert Hills
Match 3 Park City v. Snow Canyon, Court 3, 4 p.m.
PARK CITY MINERS
Coach: Matthew Carlson
Overall Record: 20-9
Region 10 Record: 8-0
Record against the field: 12-1
Current Ranking: 4th
SNOW CANYON WARRIORS (St. George)
Coach: Ryan Rarick
Overall Record: 7-19
Region 9 Record: 4-6
Record against the field: 2-11
Current Ranking: 12th
A down year for the Warriors, but promising young talent in the lower ranks. The Miners will win this one though. Pick: Park City
Match 4 Juab v. Ridgeline, Court 4, 4 p.m.
JUAB WASPS (Nephi)
Coach: Amber Allred
Overall Record: 16-11
Region 12 Record: 5-3
Record against the field: 4-4
Current Ranking: 10th
RIDGELINE RIVERHAWKS (Millville)
Coach: Katie Ormsby
Overall Record: 10-12
Region 11 Record: 5-5
Record against the field: 2-6
Current Ranking: 11th
The two teams that were not in last year’s tournament meet in the first round. Another tight matchup. Pick: Juab
Match 5 Union v. Pine View, Court 1, 5:30 p.m.
UNION COUGARS (Roosevelt)
Coach: Analaine Mailoto
Overall Record: 13-11
Region 10 Record: 5-3
Record against the field: 5-3
Current Ranking: 9th
PINE VIEW PANTHERS (St. George)
Coach: Kelly Murdock
Overall Record: 18-11
Region 9 Record: 6-4
Record against the field: 4-3
Current Ranking: 7th
Rankings are close, but Pine View had better record against tougher competition. Pick: Pine View
Match 6 North Sanpete v. Logan, Court 2, 5:30 p.m.
NORTH SANPETE HAWKS (Mt. Pleasant)
Coach: Rickie Stewart
Overall Record: 24-4
Region 12 Record: 8-0
Record against the field: 8-1
Current Ranking: 3rd
Coach: Jenn Ioane
Overall Record: 5-15
Region 11 Record: 4-6
Record against the field: 0-7
Current Ranking: 17th
Not the most lopsided first-round matchup, but close. Pick: North Sanpete
Match 7 Morgan v. Canyon View, Court 3, 5:30 p.m.
Coach: Liz Wiscombe
Overall Record: 23-3
Region 10 Record: 10-0
Record against the field: 7-0
Current Ranking: 1st
CANYON VIEW FALCONS (Cedar City)
Coach: Cristy Crane
Overall Record: 6-16
Region 12 Record: 2-6
Record against the field: 0-10
Current Ranking: 20th
Canyon View’s reward for making the field—first-round match against top-ranked defending champion Morgan. Pick: Morgan
Match 8 Dixie v. Stansbury, Court 4, 5:30 p.m.
DIXIE FLYERS (St. George)
Coach: Stacy Leavitt
Overall Record: 13-12
Region 9 Record: 7-3
Record against the field: 6-4
Current Ranking: 5th
STANSBURY STALLIONS (Tooele)
Coach: Erika Smith
Overall Record: 8-15
Region 12 Record: 3-5
Record against the field: 3-8
Current Ranking: 15th
Dixie finished strong in Region 9., including a win over the Lady Stallions in the Claim Jumper tournament October 8th. Pick: Dixie
WINNERS BRACKET (Wednesday)
Match 9: Juan Diego v. Desert Hills, Court 3, 7 p.m.
Two teams without any common opponents. Strength of schedule and talent go to the Thunder though. Pick: Desert Hills
Match 10: Park City v. Juab, Court 2, 7 p.m.
Rematch from Sept. 8 when the Lady Miners prevailed 3-1. Most of Park City’s losses come at the hands of bigger schools. Pick: Park City
Match 11: Pine View v. North Sanpete, Court 3, 8:30 p.m.
One common opponent is Dixie. Pine View split with the Flyers while North Sanpete lost to Dixie 3-1. Pick: Pine View
Match 12: Morgan v. Dixie, Court 2, 8:30 p.m.
Morgan has been dominant all year, but not as good as last year’s team and definitely beatable if opponent plays the perfect game. Pick: Morgan
ONE-LOSS BRACKET (Wednesday)
Match 13: Richfield v. Tooele, Court 4, 7 p.m.
Richfield is stronger on paper, but memories of last year’s tournament when Tooele went on a run defeating several higher-seeded teams may make me regret my choice. Pick: Richfield
Match 14: Snow Canyon v. Ridgeline, Court 1, 7 p.m.
It has been a down year for the Lady Warriors who were hit hard with graduation and injury, but should oust Ridgeline in their first year. Pick: Snow Canyon
Match 15: Union v. Logan, Court 4, 8:30 p.m.
Union should not have any trouble with the Lady Grizzlies, arguably the weakest team in the tournament. Pick: Union
Match 16: Canyon View v. Stansbury, Court 1, 8:30 p.m.
Coach Cristy Crane is fun to watch, and her Lady Falcons project her feistiness on the floor. But I have to give the edge to the Lady Stallions. Pick: Stansbury
State Tournament info: 3a-bracket (pdf)
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