ST. GEORGE — The volleyball team from Crimson Cliffs High School is starting to hit its stride.
After sweeping Snow Canyon 3-0 on the road Tuesday night, the Mustangs are positioning themselves for an attempt to catch Region 10 leader Desert Hills.
“We’ve grown a lot,” Crimson Cliffs coach Gabrielle Hasenbeck told St. George News. “It’s been quite a season, and it’s been really exciting seeing their progress as we continue to practice and work hard in the gym.”
The victory moved the Mustangs into sole possession of second place in the regional standings with a 6-1 record. Desert Hills is just ahead of them at 7-1.
“I think they have a better understanding of what it means to work hard and what it means to defend what you want to represent,” Hasenbeck added.
Crimson Cliffs brought high energy and enthusiasm to the gym from the first set at Snow Canyon. Madeline Wallentine served an ace, one of 12 total aces in the match for the winners, that put the Mustangs ahead 16-9.
Then Snow Canyon rallied to tie the score 18-18 after kills by Fetuao Tapasa, Savannah Cheever and Sophie Jaster.
Crimson Cliffs responded with kills from Lydia Lindquist and Kate Ohlsen, an ace from Maci Cottam and two kills from Callie Finlinson to take the first set 25-20.
“To me, it’s been a blessing because I get to work with a ton of athletes and direct them and then they get to use their athleticism in a sport that we all love, so that’s been awesome,” Hasenbeck said.
The Mustangs had to come from behind in the second set as a kill from Jaster put the Warriors up 16-13. Finlinson, who tied Jaster with a match-high 11 kills, knocked one home and the Mustangs tied the score 16-16.
Tehanie Waters, a freshman for Crimson Cliffs, had a kill and an ace, then Finlinson and Adah Christiansen followed with two big blocks and the Mustangs captured the second set 25-20.
“We have been working on that nonstop, so I do feel like our strength right now is our blocking,” Hasenbeck said after the Mustangs finished with seven total blocks. “And if we do make a mistake on the block, we know exactly what to do to fix it.”
The Mustangs completed the sweep with a 25-21 win in the third set. Junior Riann Gines finished the night with eight kills, four aces and 13 digs in the victory.
“We’ve been working really hard as a team,” Gines said. “You could just tell that the energy was up. In our practices we’ve been making sure to hustle more, running, sprinting, and then putting that effort into our games.”
Gines added that the Mustangs gather together as a team before every match to focus and pump each other up.
“We’re making sure that we’re lifting each other up because volleyball is such a mental sport,” Gines said. “And so we couldn’t do it without everyone.”
In other matches around Region 10 Tuesday night, Desert Hills swept Dixie 3-0 and Pine View beat Hurricane 3-1.
On Thursday, Snow Canyon is at Hurricane, Pine View is at Dixie and Cedar is at Crimson Cliffs.
Region 10 volleyball standings, region, overall (as of Wednesday)
- Desert Hills, 7-1, 11-6
- Crimson Cliffs, 6-1, 8-7
- Pine View, 5-3, 11-5
- Snow Canyon, 4-4, 9-14
- Cedar, 3-4, 11-11
- Hurricane, 2-6, 8-10
- Dixie, 0-8, 0-21
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