ST. GEORGE — The Desert Hills High School girls volleyball team captured the Region 10 title in a hard fought sweep of Crimson Cliffs at home Tuesday night.
“It’s pretty awesome. I’m proud of how hard our girls worked,” Desert Hills coach Craig Allred said.
The win avenged the Thunder’s only region loss of the season when Crimson Cliffs beat Desert Hills 3-2 Sept. 16.
This time around, in front of a loud home crowd, the Thunder came out firing on all cylinders and beat the Mustangs 25-21, 26-24, 30-28.
“That Crimson team is a tough, tough team,” Allred said. “They got a lot of fight, they just keep bringing the ball back over, tough swings, constantly, they’re a really good team.”
The first set began with the Thunder taking an 8-5 lead and forcing a Crimson Cliffs time out. Later, Riann Gines would have two kills and Kate Ohlsen served an ace and the Mustangs cut the lead to 14-13.
Desert Hills maintained its lead, getting kills from Brooke Haguewood and Maleia Thurber to go ahead 19-16. Haguewood’s ace made it 23-20 and then the Thunder closed out the first set.
But Crimson Cliffs would not go away easily, forcing the Thunder to score extra points in both of the next two sets.
Desert Hills jumped out to 6-2 and 8-3 leads in a fast start to the second set. Julia Jacobsen’s kill put the Thunder in front 10-3.
Thurber and the Mustangs Callie Finlinson traded kills and the score was 12-6 Desert Hills. Anna Jenson, who was strong at the net for the Thunder all night, knocked home two kills and Desert Hills led 14-10.
But Mustangs freshman Tehanie Waters hit two winners and Gines served an ace to cut the Thunder lead to 16-15. The score was tied four more times before a Mustangs serve out of bounds secured the set win for Desert Hills.
Comparing the two matches the rivals played during the regular season, Allred said Crimson Cliffs was very tough at home.
“I think both teams played hard. Volleyball is such a weird sport, we just kind of lost momentum in that one over there and never got it going,” Allred said. “To their credit they took the momentum and they really went with it over there.”
Desert Hills jumped ahead 4-1 in the third set behind Mckayla Allred’s ace and Jacobsen’s block. But then the Mustangs took the lead 6-5 behind kills from Gines and Madeline Wallentine.
The teams traded point much of the way after that until Crimson Cliffs built up a 20-16 lead.
Two blocks from Thurber and an ace from Jacobsen later put the Thunder back ahead 21-20.
The score was tied several more times before Jenson’s tip and an ace from Tatum Gardner led to the set win for Desert Hills.
Region 10 teams all have one match left, but Desert Hills is far enough ahead in the standings that they can’t be caught. Allred said there’s lots of time left before the state tournament.
“It’s a long ways down the road still, we’ve got a lot of time to work on and get a little bit better,” Allred said. “I don’t feel like we’ve hit our max yet, but I feel like we’re climbing to get there. I’m excited about where we’re at in the season right now and where we’re progressing to. I feel like we’ll be playing our best ball at the end.”
The regular season schedule concludes after Snow Canyon has a non-region matchup at North Sanpete Friday. On Tuesday at 7 p.m. Dixie is at Crimson Cliffs, Desert Hills is at Hurricane and Cedar is at Pine View.
Region 10 volleyball standings (region, overall) as of Oct. 14:
- Desert Hills, 10-1, 17-9
- Crimson Cliffs, 8-3, 15-9
- Cedar, 7-4, 15-11
- Pine View, 6-5, 15-10
- Snow Canyon, 5-7, 10-17
- Hurricane, 3-8, 11-15
- Dixie, 0-11, 0-24
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