Stansbury volleyball may be finding its groove at just the right time.
The Stallions defeated the Ben Lomond Scots in three sets, 25-21, 25-19, 25-20, to move into control of the fourth and final playoff spot from Region 11 as well as a third-place tie with Bear River.
“We still have a lot to do,” said Stansbury coach Clint Barnes after the 3-0 win. “I think the biggest thing is just have to keep cleaning up the little things here and there and keep working together as a team. We can still be right in the hunt. We’re young; we’re a little inexperienced, but we’re learning. We keep getting better at every single day at practice and all these games. I think going into the second half of the season we can do good things.”
The Stallions still have one non-region tournament to play in where they’ll play eight games to help get ready for the state tournament. Barnes said playing in that tournament will help work out some of the kinks the team may have where they can make a run in the region and at least be in a place where they’re confident going into state.
“The more times you can touch a ball, the better you’re going to be,” Barnes said. “You get two tournaments, and we haven’t had our second tournament. Most of these schools are a lot further along than we are. They’ve played all their preseason matches; they’ve played all their tournaments. We still have our big tournament to go. We’re setting ourselves up for a great run in the second half (of the season) and going into state.”
The Stallions played all three sets against the Scots close, but they managed to get the wins for the sweep.
Ben Lomond opened the first set with a 4-0 lead until Madie Alvey put an end to the scoring run with a block. The Scots maintained the lead until a sideout brought the Stallions even at 7-7. The Scots then hit the ball out to give the Stallions their first lead of the set at 8-7.
Stansbury then had its first cushion at 14-12 after a Ben Lomond net violation and hit out-of-bounds. The Stallions jumped on the opportunity to build their lead. Tiffany Robbins softly tapped the ball over the net for a kill that landed in an empty spot on the right. Katy Flint followed with a kill, and Alvey scored a point on a serve. Bailey Wilson, Robbins and Camryn Anderson all scored kills, and the set point went to Alvey on her kill attempt that was blocked but went out-of-bounds.
The second set went a little simpler; Stansbury took the lead at 3-2 on a kill by Wilson and never gave it back. Stansbury’s Jessica Bassett stole the show in the middle of the set when she aced three serves. Those aces, along with a net violation by Ben Lomond, brought Stansbury from ahead 6-4 to 10-4. Alvey, Robbins and Julia Flint each contributed kills at that en route to the win in set No. 2, but the Scots did push forward after Stansbury led 20-13. The Scots pushed the score to 20-18 before the Stallions scored five out of six points to go up 2-0.
Things went much the same in the third set with the Stallions taking a 4-3 lead on a Robbins kill. They held on to the lead for the remainder of the set, and Ben Lomond once again pushed forward to cut the lead to 19-18. The Stallions put the ball in the just the right positions as Ben Lomond struggled to get it over the net.
The exclamation point of the third set came from Bassett, who knocked another ace on her serve to give Stansbury a 24-20 lead. Ben Lomond couldn’t get the ball over the net on set point, and the Stallions got the 25-20 win.
Stansbury faced Bear River, and both teams sit at 1-2 in the standings, which makes them tied for third place. The results for that game will be in Tuesday’s edition of the Transcript-Bulletin.