Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

October 26, 2021
Stallions edge Buffs in Region 7 volleyball battle 

Tooele earned set points to win both the first and fourth sets in a match against rival Stansbury at home Thursday night on senior night, but the Buffaloes were unable to close out those sets with victories and the Stallions went on to win the match 3-1.

Stansbury (6-5, 11-10) evened the score with the Buffaloes this season with a 3-1 victory  28-16, 16-25, 25-18, 27-25. Tooele won the first match between the two teams 3-1 at Stansbury. Those sets were also tight 20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 26-24.

Stansbury coach Bailey Moss said she switched things up a bit this time around against the Buffaloes.

“We had Malia Opeta (freshman) switch to the outside; she’s been really consistent for us,” the coach said. “I also had Sophie Karen (freshman) go in for a few serves when one of my players needed a breather and she did amazing. We caught up when she was in.”

Tooele (6-5, 12-12 ) can still leapfrog the Stallions in the Region 7 standings if they can defeat Hillcrest (2-9, 5-21) and if Payson (6-4, 10-23) defeats Stansbury in the final region matches. Tooele travels to Hillcrest and Stansbury hosts Payson on Tuesday.

Both teams were well represented by their fellow students at the match, with back-and-forth creative banter.

“The Tooele match had so much energy and my girls stayed positive and intense the whole time,” Moss said. “They tried to go after my transfer student from Tooele Lexi Grigich, but she held her ground perfectly.”

The two teams battled back-and-forth in the opening set and neither could extend the lead by more than about four points. The Buffs led 15-14, until the Stallions edged ahead by three points after an ace serve from Grigich that hit the backline to give Stansbury a 22-19 advantage. 

Tooele rallied and earned set-point at 25-24 after an ace serve from Breanna Beer. Stansbury survived the set point and the set ended up tied at 26-26. Tooele served deep and then Grigich came up with a block to give the Stallions the first set 28-26.

Tooele jumped out early in the second set, and led 7-2 before the Stallions rallied to take the lead at 10-9 on a kill by Brittan Morgan. The Buffaloes then went on a run with senior Beer serving to overtake the Stallions and go up 15-13.

After losing a point, Salix Shirley recorded a kill, and the Buffs put together another run to go up 19-13, forcing a timeout by the Stallions. Stansbury won four-straight points to slice the lead to 20-16, and force a T.O. from Tooele. The Buffs gained composure after the timeout and scored five-straight points to win 25-16 and even the match at 1-1.

Stansbury led 12-6 in the third set, and maintained the cushion throughout the set. They finished off the Stallions with kills from Opeta and Grgich to win 25-18.

Tooele got it rolling in the fourth set with several kills from Zada Jackson, and one from Morgan to lead 10-5. The Buffaloes continued to pour it on with a touch shot from Morgan and some great defensive play to keep the ball alive. 

Tooele extended the lead to 17-11 until the Stallions’ Ryan Hecker began serving. The Stallions won three points with Hecker serving and pulled within 17-15 when Tooele took a timeout.

Jackson blasted a kill, and later Morgan hit a winner to push the Buffaloes’ lead out to 20-15.

With Tooele up, the Stallions trimmed the lead to 21-18 with an ace serve from Annie Butler. A couple of points later, Hecker wound up and blasted a kill to tighten the match at 22-21 for Tooele. The Buffs extended the lead to 24-21 when Beer hit a winner, and it looked like the match would extend to five sets with three set points for Tooele, but the Stallions persisted.

Stansbury’s Maggie Vanderwerff recorded a kill, and the Stallions were fortunate when the next serve tipped the net and landed in for a winner to make it 24-23 Tooele. Hecker and Vanderwerff came up with a block to tie the set at 24-24. Beer scored a winner for the Buffaloes, but the Stallions evened the score at 25-25. 

Jasmine Sisar came in to serve out the final two points for the Stallions and secure the victory winning 27-25 in the fourth set.

Hecker and Grigich each recorded eight kills in the match, Opeta six, Vanderwerff five, Morgan five, and Kesiah Philpot four.

Hecker pounded four aces and Grigich had two.

Philpot tallied six total blocks, Grigich five, Morgan four, Vanderwerff three and Opeta two.

Sisar had 17 digs, Hecker 15, Becky Boone nine, Grigich seven, and Allison Flint seven.

Sisar recorded 17 assists and Boone 13.

Jackson blasted 16 kills for the Buffaloes, Shirley added 12, Grace Prescott seven, Morgan seven, and Cicely Tate three. Kelsee Johnson had four aces, Beer two and Morgan two.

Morgan had six blocks, Tate five, Beer two, and Jackson one.

Johnson had 26 digs, Beer and Shirley 13 each, Jackson 12, Prescott six, Sadie Baker four and Tate four.

Beer recorded 37 assists and Johnson three.

The teams will find out on Thursday who they will contend with in the playoffs.


Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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