Region 9 volleyball recap: Desert Hills, Snow Canyon tied for first

Desert Hills at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Sept. 17, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — After losing its first region match last week, Desert Hills dropped one spot in the statewide RPI rankings, while the Snow Canyon Warriors moved up a spot.

Desert Hills at Hurricane, Hurricane, Utah, Sept. 22, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Both teams are currently 7-1 in Region 9 play, but Snow Canyon, which is riding a four-game winning streak, is now No. 5 in the RPI rankings, switching places with Desert Hills, which dropped to No. 6 after the Thunder’s 3-1 home loss on Sept. 17 to Dixie.

The Dixie Flyers are now tied for third place in Region 9 with Crimson Cliffs, with both teams sharing 6-2 records. However, Crimson Cliffs is ranked seventh in the RPI while Dixie is ninth.

Dixie head coach Erin Wedemeyer said she is pleased with how well the Flyers have been playing as of late. At Desert Hills on Sept. 17, the Thunder won the first set 25-21, but Dixie rallied to win the next three, 25-20, 25-19 and 25-19,  handing the Thunder their first region loss.

“The win against Desert Hills was incredible for the girls as well as everyone watching,” Wedemeyer said. “It’s the type of volleyball we all hope to be a part of.”

She added that the team has “amazed” her with the way they have come together.

“All year long we have been doing certain things successfully and needing improvement on certain things, and our complete game is starting to come together. They have shown a mental toughness that  pushes them through even when they’re down.  I could not be more proud of these girls, for not only the way that they play on the court but who they are off the court as well.”

Also on Sept. 17, the Pine View Panthers prevailed 3-1 at Canyon View. Heading into the match, both teams were 0-6 and looking for their first region win. Pine View won the first two games, 25-21 and 25-12, but Canyon View rallied to take the third game, 25-22. Pine View closed it out by winning the fourth game 25-19. Brooke Miller led the Panthers with 17 kills.

In other action last week, Snow Canyon swept the Tigers at Hurricane 3-0. Despite the loss, Hurricane head coach Kirsti White said she was proud of her team’s effort.

“It was a hard-fought match,” White told St. George News. “Snow Canyon is a good team, and I was so proud of the way we stayed composed and fought each match. Everyone contributed something tonight. We blocked really well and defended the best we have all year. I am really excited for what we have happening as we head into the second half of region.”

The Crimson Cliffs Mustangs also won 3-0, sweeping the Cedar Reds 25-17, 25-23 and 26-24. Riann Gines led the Mustangs with 16 kills, while fellow sophomore Kate Ohlsen served up seven aces.

Crimson Cliffs at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 22, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

On Tuesday, Crimson Cliffs defeated Canyon View, 3-1. Although the Mustangs dropped the first set to the Falcons 21-25, they rallied to win the next three, 25-13, 25-17 and 25-13. Gines had 17 kills during the match, while Callie Finlinson added 14.

The other three Region 9 contests Tuesday night were all 3-0 sweeps, with Dixie winning at home over Pine View, Snow Canyon winning at Cedar and Desert Hills beating the Tigers at Hurricane.

White credited Desert Hills team after the 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 loss.

“They just outplayed us in every aspect of the game tonight. We were never able to get into a rhythm on offense, and they were in system on every ball. They are running the fastest offense we’ve seen up to this point, and it is difficult to defend.”

Despite the loss, White said she was proud of the Tiger defense and the adjustments they made.

“We’ve got to pass better and give ourselves opportunities to make plays.”

Thursday night’s Region 9 schedule features a showdown between the top two teams in the region. Desert Hills will host Snow Canyon, while in Cedar City, crosstown rivals Cedar and Canyon View will face each other on the Falcons’ home court.

The full schedule is as follows, with all varsity matches scheduled to start at 7 p.m.:

Thursday, Sept. 24 schedule

  • Dixie at Crimson Cliffs.
  • Cedar at Canyon View.
  • Pine View at Hurricane.
  • Snow Canyon at Desert Hills.

Following are the current region standings, with RPI rankings included:

Region 9 volleyball standings, as of Sept. 23 (region record, overall, RPI)

  1. Snow Canyon 7-1 (12-4) 5th RPI.
  2. Desert Hills 7-1 (11-5) 6th RPI.
  3. Crimson Cliffs 6-2 (9-5) 7th RPI.
  4. Dixie 6-2 (9-6) 9th RPI.
  5. Cedar 3-5 (8-8) 13th RPI.
  6. Hurricane 2-6 (6-10) 15th RPI.
  7. Pine View 1-7 (2-13) 17th RPI.
  8. Canyon View 0-8 (3-9) 18th RPI.

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

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