Region 10 volleyball: Pine View, Desert Hills and Hurricane all win, race for region title tightens up

ST. GEORGE — The race for the Region 10 volleyball title has produced some great matches so far as most squads are evenly matched and competitive. Any team can win on any given night.

Pine View hosts Snow Canyon in a Region 10 volleyball match, St. George, Utah, Sept. 23, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

With a little less than half the schedule remaining, a handful of teams have moved into the top of the league standings and each has a chance to win the championship. 

The league leaders are Desert Hills and Crimson Cliffs, each with only one loss in region play. Nipping at their heels right behind are Pine View and Snow Canyon, who had a rematch Thursday night at Pine View.

The Panthers avenged their first region loss of the season when they started strong to win the first two sets, survived a rally, and went on to beat Snow Canyon in four sets, 3-1.

“Our team was preparing for a long time for this match,” Pine View senior libero Alexa Tueller told St. George News after the win. “We came out strong and we were ready to play through lots of preparation and tough practices.”

Pine View lost at Snow Canyon in a five-set thriller the first time these teams met Aug. 31.

“This time we just came out with a killer mindset,” Tueller said. “I feel like we all knew we could win. We believed we could win and we executed really well tonight.”

Senior Kennedy Vaughn ignited Pine View’s strong start, serving a run that put the Panthers up early in the first set 5-1.

Pine View hosts Snow Canyon in a Region 10 volleyball match, St. George, Utah, Sept. 23, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

“Yesterday in practice we watched film on Snow Canyon and saw where they’d be weakest,” Vaughn said. “So we were able to target our serving, and that helped.”

Vaughn served an ace in a later run that put the Panthers ahead 20-10, then Hallie Wilkinson knocked in a kill and Pine View won the first set 25-20.

The Panthers backed that up in the second set. Tueller had a strong run from the service line that put the Panthers ahead 19-15 and then Pine View won the set 25-19.

Snow Canyon rallied and got back into the match behind junior outside hitter Sophie Jaster, who finished with a team-high 16 kills. She also served two aces that put the Warriors ahead 19-10, and then Aubrey Olson hit home a kill and Snow Canyon took the set 25-13.

But the Panthers took all the momentum back in a quick fourth set, winning 25-12. Wilkinson served an ace, Hannah Warner had a big block and Alize Sargent banged home a kill in the set.

“I feel like we’ve been dialing in mentally a lot on our service. We’ve been having lots of practice based on mental toughness and staying in the zone, and that’s just what we did on that baseline,” Tueller said. “We served them off the court.”

Pine View’s win brought the region records for both teams to 4-3.

When asked if Pine View can win the championship, Vaughn needed no time to answer.

“Oh I definitely believe we can get region,” she said.

Also on the court Thursday night, Desert Hills beat Cedar 3-1 and Hurricane defeated Dixie 3-1.

Region 10 volleyball standings, region, overall (as of Friday)

  1. Desert Hills, 6-1, 10-6
  2. Crimson Cliffs, 5-1, 7-7
  3. Pine View, 4-3, 10-5
  4. Snow Canyon, 4-3, 9-13
  5. Cedar, 3-4, 11-11
  6. Hurricane, 2-5, 8-9
  7. Dixie, 0-7, 0-20

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