Lady Thunder seize 1st place with win over Dixie

Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Volleyball, St. George, UT, Sept. 28, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Desert Hills won the most-anticipated match of the night to determine temporary supremacy in Region 9 in four sets over the Dixie Flyers. Pine View and Snow Canyon also won Thursday. Below are game summaries of the action:

Desert Hills 3, Dixie 1

The Thunder grabbed sole possession of first place with the home win against Dixie 25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 25-20.

Desert Hills head coach Sharon Christensen has said this season the Lady Thunder lack a superstar, but instead have several girls that play their roles very well. And that has played out as several girls have shone at different times in different matches or even at different times in the same match.

“Kamryn Bliss and Kylee Christensen played well at different times tonight,” Christensen said. “Madi Clark played outstanding the entire match.”

All three would come up big during key times in the match to turn back the Lady Flyers’ momentum and spark their teammates.

Dixie’s Ella Burroughs (7), Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Volleyball, St. George, UT, Sept. 28, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

In the first set, the teams played even to 4-4 before DHHS was able to get a little breathing room with a three-point surge. Saselah Goulding’s service ace put the Thunder up 7-4. The lead was extended to 12-7 on Halle Sonju’s service ace. That mini-run was aided by kills from Christensen and Elisa George.

The Lady Flyers pulled to within two, but after Goulding and Bliss hit back-to-back kills, Desert Hills extended its lead to 17-11. Dixie clawed back and pulled to within two at 23-21 on a kill by Ella Burrows. Christensen got Desert Hills a side out with another kill and then Clark closed out the match with her service to take set one.

Dixie got good service to start the second set. Aces from Brooklyn Wright and Emme Leavitt propelled the Flyers to an early 6-3 advantage. The Lady Thunder were able to tie the match on three successive Flyer errors and the teams went back and forth with neither team gaining more than a two-point lead. The Thunder led 13-12 when Dixie made its big run. Behind the service of Taytum Jorgenson, the Lady Flyers went on a 7-0 streak, the last two points off kills by Brynn Eardley.

Dixie’s Lauren Beatty (8), Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Volleyball, St. George, UT, Sept. 28, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

After a Shawnee Jones kill gave Dixie a 20-14 lead and a side out, Coach Christensen called her last timeout of the set. But the Dixie onslaught continued. Another kill by Eardley and a service ace from Cara Bair gave the Lady Flyers a 23-14 lead. The Flyers got to match point at 24-17 on a kill by Jones. Two straight attack errors brought the Thunder to within 24-20 when Dixie head coach Stacy Leavitt called her final timeout of the set.

Coming out of the timeout, the Flyers ended the set with a kill from Eardley.

The Flyers could not carry the momentum to the third set and trailed the entire time. Halle Sonju started the set with a service ace. Moments later, Allie Beck’s service ace gave the Thunder an early 6-1 advantage. The Flyers got to within one, 11-10, but then saw Desert Hills outscore them 8-1 for a commanding 19-11 lead. During the run, Halle and Andi Sonju had two service aces apiece.

Brooklyn Wright had some timely assists to pull the Flyers back. Burrows, Eardley and Jones all had kills and Dixie only trailed 22-19 late in the match. The Thunder got to set point on a Dixie attack error and Bliss scored on a block to finish the set.

The fourth saw Dixie reciprocate with the fast start. Wright’s service ace opened the set and Loren Beatty and Jones got kills to stake the Flyers to a 4-1 lead. Wright’s dump later in the set gave Dixie an 8-5 lead.

The Thunder were able to tie the game at 8-8 when controversy struck. The Thunder appeared to hit the ball four times, but there was confusion on whether a Flyer had blocked or touched the ball earlier in the rally. The officials decided to replay the point. Leavitt voiced her disapproval and was issued a yellow card, forcing her to the bench.

Desert Hills’ Halle Sonju (15), Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Volleyball, St. George, UT, Sept. 28, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

The Thunder continued their run. Bliss had two service aces in the 6-0 run and before the Flyers could get a side out, it was 11-8 in favor of Desert Hills. The Thunder would not relinquish the lead again.

The Flyers did pull within one late, 19-18, but at that point Desert Hills scored three straight, two off service aces from Bliss. The lead grew to five 24-19 on Clark’s kill. Goulding finished the match with her attack.

“Getting those two aces late was great,” said Bliss. “We are really gelling as a team right now. We are getting better everyday.”

Individually for the Thunder, Andie Sonju, Bliss and Beck each had four service aces. Clark led the team with 15 kills. Christensen, Bliss and Beck had six each. Christensen also led the team with five blocks. Goulding and Andi Sonju had 18 and 13 assists, respectively. Recording double-digit digs were Halle Sonju (27), Clark (14) and Andi Sonju (12).

“I love getting kills, placing the ball where your opponents can’t get it,” said Kylee Christensen. “But blocks are also good. Especially against good attackers like those on Dixie.”

Desert Hills moves to 13-10 overall and 7-1 in Region 9. The Lady Thunder will have a bye on Tuesday before traveling to Pine View on Oct. 6. Dixie falls to 6-2 in Region 9 and 11-4 overall. The Lady Flyers will host Pine View on Tuesday night.

Pine View 3, Hurricane 1

The visiting Lady Tigers put a scare into Pine View by taking set one. The Panthers rallied, however, and took the next three sets for the win 21-25, 25-11, 25-22, 25-21.

“We were able to eliminate our errors after the first set,” Pine View head coach Kelly Murdock said. “We served more consistently also.”

Individually for the Panthers, Emily Lantor led the team with 11 kills. Addyson Mikkelson had six. Saraven Allen and Amelia Goebel had five apiece. Teuila Leung Choi led the team with four service aces. Mikkelson led the team with seven blocks. Recording double-digit digs were Leung Choi (14), Lantor (13), Allen (11) and Mikkelson (10).

“Abbie Elison had an amazing game passing tonight,” Hurricane head coach Content Marshall said. “Kena Carter came through for us with some crucial kills.”

Pine View took a strong hold on the final playoff position with a 1 1/2-game lead over Canyon View and Cedar. The Lady Panthers are 4-4 in region and 18-9 overall. They will travel to Dixie on Tuesday night. Hurricane falls to 0-8 in region and 4-12 overall. The Lady Tigers will host Snow Canyon on Tuesday night.

Snow Canyon 3, Canyon View 0

The Lady Warriors swept visiting Canyon View 25-22, 25-13, 25-13 to move into a tie for second place in the Region 9 standings.

“We made some mistakes early in the first set,” Snow Canyon head coach Ryan Rarick said. “But then we settled into a rhythm and played well. Lizzy Rowland passed very well in serve-receive and also accumulated six kills with only one error. Addie Tauanuu also played a great game. She’s the emotional leader of our team and she showed a lot of heart and effort tonight. Her 32 assists were huge for us.”

Sammi Johnston led the Warriors with 21 kills and 10 digs. Eliza Gibson, Hallie Remund and Lizzy Rowland each had three service aces.

Individually for the Lady Falcons, Lorien Colbert and Eowyn Colbert each recorded five kills. Malia Vasi led the team with 11 assists. Brielle Fullmer led the team with 11 digs.

The Lady Warriors move to 6-2 in region play and 10-8 overall. Snow Canyon will travel to Hurricane on Tuesday night. Canyon View falls to 2-5 in Region 9 and 8-10 overall. The Lady Falcons will host cross-town rival Cedar on Tuesday night.

1. Desert Hills 7-1 (13-10)
2. Dixie 6-2 (11-4)
2. Snow Canyon 6-2 (10-8)
4. Pine View 4-4 (18-9)
5. Canyon View 2-5 (8-10)
5. Cedar 2-5 (8-9)
7. Hurricane 0-8 (4-12)

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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