Region 9 volleyball recap: Snow Canyon, Desert Hills win on road to share region title

Katelyn Langford (9) of Snow Canyon had 19 kills as the Lady Warriors swept Cedar 3-0 to claim a share of the Region 9 volleyball title, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 22, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The Snow Canyon Lady Warriors volleyball team and the Desert Hills Lady Thunder are Region 9 co-champions, with each team winning on the road Tuesday night to wrap up the regular season.

Snow Canyon and Desert Hills both finished with 11-3 records, having split the regular season series with each other. Snow Canyon swept Cedar on Tuesday night at Cedar City, dropping the Lady Reds into third place at 10-4. Desert Hills, meanwhile, won at Hurricane to stake its share of the region title.

Snow Canyon 3, Cedar 0

Cedar and Snow Canyon both had identical 10-3 records heading into the regular season finale, but the Lady Warriors controlled the match from start to finish, winning 25-20, 25-15 and 25-17.

Junior Katelyn Langford had a team-high 19 kills for Snow Canyon, six in each of the first two sets and seven in the third. Her final kill came on the match-winning point, which she also served. Watch that point below in the embedded video tweet from STGnewsSports.

Hard-hitting senior Hallie Remund added 11 kills for the Warriors.

“Cedar’s got a great team, and we knew they were going to be prepared for us,” Snow Canyon coach Markay Thorkelson said. “We’ve been working hard all year.”

Thorkelson’s daughter, sophomore Jenna Thorkelson, sparked the Warriors to a commanding lead in the second set when she served up the first 11 points in a row to put her team up 11-0. Snow Canyon went on to lead 16-1 before Cedar recorded its first kill of the set. Although the Lady Reds staged a brave comeback, they were in too deep of a hole to fully recover.

In the third and deciding set, Snow Canyon once again built an early lead and stayed ahead throughout.

Both teams are likely to have first-round byes in the upcoming 4A state playoffs, once the final RPI rankings are announced by the Utah High School Activities Association on Friday.

Desert Hills beats Hurricane 3-1 to claim a share of the Region 9 volleyball title, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 22, 2019 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

Desert Hills 3, Hurricane 1

Desert Hills needed to get a win against Hurricane to keep a share of the region championship, and that is exactly what the Thunder did, beating the Tigers 25-22, 15-25, 25-10 and 25-12.

Desert Hills started slow in the first set, with Hurricane jumping out to a 9-3 lead early. After a Thunder timeout, they recovered quickly to take the first set.

Desert Hills relaxed after winning the first set, and senior Emma Jacobsen mentioned that as something that the team needs to work on going into the state playoffs.

“A huge part of it is that we get kind of relaxed, and we get cocky about the fact that we won the first set,” senior Emma Jacobsen said. “We kind of let down our guard, but we as a team can work on keeping our energy up at all times and not letting other teams get back on us and score points on us.”

Hurricane played a great second set, and it looked as if they had taken back the momentum, but they came out slow in the third set, losing 25-10. A big thing for the Tigers has been consistency, and head coach Content Marshall focused in on that.

“They came out sluggish,” Marshall said. “I think that that happens a lot where they get that momentum up and then they just think that it’s going to be given to them. We just have to keep playing the same way and not give up and not let down, keep that momentum.”

Desert Hills beats Hurricane 3-1 to claim a share of the Region 9 volleyball title, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 22, 2019 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

Marshall also mentioned that the Tigers will be focusing on that consistency as they head into the playoffs. The new RPI ranking is also exciting for not only Hurricane but many other teams in Utah.

“I am actually quite excited about the RPI,” Marshall said. “I feel like this is a tough region, and every game that we have played has prepared us for state. There’s not one team in this region that’s not competitive, so we’ve had a lot of really good games which have got us ready for state. I’m excited about that.”

With the win, Desert Hills secured a share of the Region 9 title with Snow Canyon.

The Thunder won their first seven games of region play, then lost to Snow Canyon in a close five set match. Jacobsen labeled that loss as the turning point in their season.

“I think our first loss really defined us as a team because we were able to come back from that and come back together and find a way to win again after learning how to lose,” Jacobsen said. “I think that was an important moment for our team.”

Serve receive will be an area of improvement for Desert Hills, but with so many weapons on offense, anyone can have a big day for the Thunder.

“It makes it super helpful because at any given moment somebody can get hot, and we can feed it to them to get us a lot of points,” Jacobsen said. “If somebody is having an off game we have plenty of other options, and it makes it so we can be an all-around team.”

— written by Ryne Williams

Dixie 3, Pine View 0

At Dixie, the Lady Flyers closed out the regular season with a sweep of Pine View, winning 25-12, 25-12 and 25-13.

Crimson Cliffs 3, Canyon View 0

At Crimson Cliffs, the Lady Mustangs swept Canyon View 25-12, 25-16 and 25-11 to finish in fourth place in the Region 9 standings with a 9-5 record.

Final Region 9 regular season volleyball standings

  1. (tie) Desert Hills 11-3
  2. (tie) Snow Canyon 11-3
  3. Cedar 10-4
  4. Crimson Cliffs 9-5
  5. Dixie 6-8
  6. Hurricane 5-9
  7. (tie) Canyon View 2-12
  8. (tie) Pine View 2-12

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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