Region 9 volleyball recap: Desert Hills still unbeaten, 3 teams tied for 2nd spot

Crimson Cliffs at Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Sept. 8, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Four games into the Region 9 volleyball season, Desert Hills has captured sole possession of first place. The Thunder swept Cedar in Cedar City last Thursday, then swept the Pine View Panthers at home Tuesday night to improve to 4-0 in region play.

Jaidi Willden spikes the ball, Dixie at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 8, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Also winning their past two games were Dixie and Snow Canyon, with both teams improving to 3-1 in region play, putting them in a tie for second place along with Crimson Cliffs, which saw its first region loss at the hands of Snow Canyon Tuesday night.

In that match, the Mustangs won the first and third sets but the Warriors rallied back to win the match in five, 21-25, 25-16, 2o-25, 26-24, 15-12. Katie Langford led Snow Canyon with 24 kills, while Riann Gines had 20 kills to lead Snow Canyon.

Dixie also posted a comeback win Tuesday night, outlasting the Cedar Reds at Cedar in five closely matched sets, 26-28, 30-28, 19-25, 25-13 and 15-13.

Dixie outside hitter Jaidi Willden, who starred for Cedar for the past three years before moving to St. George over the summer, led the Flyers with 19 kills.

Willden said although she enjoyed playing against her former team, she and her teammates were motivated to beat Cedar.

“It took a lot of mental toughness, I think, from everyone,” Willden told St. George News after the match. “The whole team just really tried to step it up this game because they all knew how important it was. We had to push through a bunch of mental errors and correct those.”

Crimson Cliffs at Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Sept. 8, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Also on Tuesday night, the Hurricane Tigers swept the visiting Canyon View Falcons, 3-0.

In last Thursday’s Region 9 action, Crimson Cliffs swept the Tigers at Hurricane, 25-16, 25-12, 25-20. Callie Finlinson had 10 kills for the Mustangs while fellow sophomore Gines added nine.

Crimson Cliffs head coach Alexa Mansfield said she’s pleased with the steady improvement her young players are showing.

“They’re young, they get in their heads and they don’t play hard through every single game sometimes,” she said. “So, I’m really proud of them for keeping cool and staying in control.”

Mansfield said the Mustangs are continuing to work on “improving consistency, shot selection, and going in with a heavy arm.”

Also last Thursday, Sept. 3, Snow Canyon swept the Panthers at Pine View and Dixie earned a 3-1 home win over Canyon View.

This week’s Thursday night matches are as follows: Snow Canyon is at Canyon View, Pine View is at Cedar, Hurricane is at Dixie and Crimson Cliffs is at Desert Hills.

Region 9 volleyball standings, as of Sept. 9 (region record, overall)

  1. Desert Hills 4-0 (5-1)
  2. (Tie) Snow Canyon 3-1 (4-2)
  3. (Tie) Crimson Cliffs 3-1 (6-4)
  4. (Tie) Dixie 3-1 (4-2)
  5. Hurricane 2-2 (6-6)
  6. Cedar 1-3 (6-6)
  7. (Tie) Canyon View 0-4 (3-5)
  8. (Tie) Pine View 0-4 (1-9)

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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