Volleyball is a game of momentum and emotion — when momentum shifts the other direction, it’s difficult not to get frustrated.
Unfortunately for the Grantsville volleyball team, that frustration got the best of the Cowboys at times on Tuesday night against a talented South Summit squad. The visiting Wildcats got rolling and the Cowboys lost their cohesion, allowing the Wildcats to roll to a 25-16, 25-15, 25-9 win in a Region 13 match at Grantsville High School.
“I feel like this was the most attitude we’ve had all year, which is kind of surprising,” Grantsville coach Kelbey Fisher said. “I just think they get really frustrated when they get beat by a team they feel like they can compete with. It’s a mental thing that we’re learning — to stay together, to hold it and play one point at a time.”
Grantsville (12-10, 2-4 Region 13) led 8-6 in the first set, and appeared ready to push the Wildcats (10-7, 5-1). However, South Summit went on a 7-1 run, forcing Fisher to call timeout to try to get his team settled down again. The Cowboys scored four of the next five points to claw their way back to 15-13, but then the Wildcats finished the set on a 10-3 run that included a number of hitting errors by Grantsville.
“We have a couple who want to pick it up, but it’s a team effort to get everyone back going,” Fisher said. “We can’t rely on one or two players to get things back going.”
The Wildcats continued their strong play in the second set, ripping off 11 straight points after Grantsville took a 2-0 lead. The Cowboys got back within four points, as Halle Bartley’s ace cut the deficit to 19-15, but South Summit finished the set on a 6-0 run.
Grantsville trailed just 7-5 early in the third set, but that’s when things fell completely apart. 18 of the next 22 points went the Wildcats’ way, as wayward passes led to a tough night for the Cowboys’ hitters.
“We weren’t passing well and the sets weren’t great, so our hitters were just all over the place,” Fisher said. “When we don’t have consistency, it’s hard to really take control of the ball.”
Senior Hannah Butler led the Cowboys with six kills. Paige Ford had four, Bartley and Maison White had three and Ashton Ekins had one. Bartley added two aces and Chloe Gowans had one, and Butler had three blocks and eight digs. Callie Killian led the Cowboys with 13 assists.
Grantsville played host to Summit Academy in a key Region 13 match Thursday night. The Cowboys will wrap up the regular season Tuesday night at Judge Memorial.
“We must win the next two games,” Fisher said. “When we play together, we really are a tough team to beat. When we start to realize that more, that will help us out.”