Region 9 volleyball recap: Desert Hills, Dixie riding winning streaks

Senior Emilee Allred of Desert Hills prepares to hit the ball against Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Sept. 24, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Thanks to a four-match winning streak, the Desert Hills Thunder have moved into sole possession of first place in the Region 9 volleyball standings.

Snow Canyon at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Sept. 24, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

The Thunder defeated Hurricane and Snow Canyon last week, then got a home win over Cedar on Tuesday and a road win at Pine View Thursday night to improve to 10-1 in region play, 14-5 overall. All four matches were 3-0 sweeps for Desert Hills, which is now ranked third among 4A teams in the Utah High School Activities Association’s statewide RPI rankings.

Following Thursday’s win at Pine View, Desert Hills coach Craig Allred told St. George News that his players have been playing with a lot of confidence and positive energy.

In last week’s home match against Snow Canyon, which the Thunder won 25-21, 25-11, 25-17, Desert Hills had five players with three or more kills apiece, led by Ellie Chase’s 16 kills, for a team total of 34. That was enough to offset Snow Canyon’s attack, which had Katie Langford making 17 of the Warriors’ 24 total kills.

“Snow Canyon is a really good team, and I have a ton of respect for them,” Allred said. “I felt like we were able to get a few lucky breaks that went our way, and volleyball is such a huge momentum sport, our girls just feed off that energy.”

Dixie at Crimson Cliffs, Washington City, Utah, Sept. 24, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

“I think one of our advantages with our team is we don’t really have one superstar. We’ve had a couple of times where we had seven kills (in a game) and they and they were from five different people.”

After Desert Hills swept both Cedar and Pine View this week, Allred said he hopes his team will continue to play well through the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.

Another team that is on a roll lately is the Dixie Flyers, who have won their last five matches and are now 9-2 in region play and in second place in the standings. The Flyers, which beat Crimson Cliffs 3-1 last Thursday then swept both Canyon View and Cedar this week, have moved a half-game ahead of Snow Canyon, which is now 8-2. 

Earlier this week, Snow Canyon’s originally scheduled home game against Pine View was postponed Tuesday night and has been rescheduled for Oct. 20, the official closing date of the regular season. 

The playoffs will then begin Oct. 24 at the home courts of the higher-seeded teams.

Other than Snow Canyon and Pine View, the other six Region 9 teams each have three regular season games remaining, ending with the season finale Oct. 13.

Fans attending certain volleyball games lately may have noticed players wearing pink accented uniforms instead of their regular school colors; the “pink out” games are part of ongoing annual efforts to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer.

Volleyball players surround Angela Sherman after helping raise $2,300 in Sherman’s fight against cancer, Cedar at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 24, 2020 | Photo by London Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Last Thursday at Canyon View, the Falcons hosted rival Cedar Reds. With both teams wearing pink, they collectively raised $2,300 on behalf of school district employee Angela Sherman, who was recently diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery this week to begin her battle. During the match, which Cedar eventually won 3-0, players on both teams surrounded Sherman and posed for a group photo on the court.

This week, also at Canyon View, the Hurricane Tigers picked up their third region win with a 25-21, 25-21, 25-20 victory over the Falcons on Thursday night. Scotland Gubler and Tylee Davis led Hurricane with six kills apiece, while Meg Carter had nine assists and six digs.

“It was a battle every game tonight,” said Hurricane coach Kirsti White. “Canyon View hung right with us, but we were finally able to finish a game down the stretch. It was a good team win across the board.”

See updated team records, standings and RPI ratings below.

Region 9 volleyball standings, as of Oct. 2 (region record, overall, RPI)

  1. Desert Hills 10-1 (14-5) 3rd RPI.
  2. Dixie 9-2 (12-6) 7th RPI.
  3. Snow Canyon 8-2 (13-5) 5th RPI.
  4. Crimson Cliffs 7-4 (10-7) 8th RPI.
  5. Cedar 4-7 (9-10) 13th RPI.
  6. Hurricane 3-8 (7-12) 16th RPI.
  7. Pine View 2-8 (3-14) 17th RPI.
  8. Canyon View 0-11 (3-12) 19th RPI.

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

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