It was a difficult weekend for Tooele County’s high school volleyball teams — one that brought their 2020 season to a close.
On Saturday afternoon, Tooele and Grantsville stood one match away from reaching the double-elimination portion of their respective state tournaments, and a guaranteed top-eight placing. However, both teams lost heartbreaking five-set matches and were knocked out of the tournament. Stansbury’s season ended earlier Saturday in St. George, while Wendover was eliminated Saturday afternoon in Escalante. A day earlier, Dugway dropped its first-round match to Tintic in its final outing of the season.
Here’s a breakdown of how each of Tooele County’s five teams fared.
Class 4A second round
Tooele (13-5 overall) entered the Class 4A state tournament in an interesting predicament. The Buffaloes had been one of the top teams in 4A all season, as reflected by their No. 4 seed in the bracket. However, they’d also lost their past two matches, and hadn’t played at all in more than three weeks coming into Saturday’s second-round match against Green Canyon after having their season paused by a COVID-19 outbreak in the program.
Meanwhile, the Wolves (17-14) had played a dozen times in that span, posting an 8-4 record that included a 3-0 win over Canyon View in a first-round match earlier Saturday at Tooele High School. But if there was any rust, the Buffs sure didn’t show it, as the teams were locked in a tight, back-and-forth battle throughout.
Tooele won the opening set 25-21, with Green Canyon winning the second set 25-20. Tooele answered with a 25-20 win in the third set, moving within a set of victory and a trip to Tuesday’s quarterfinal round at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. Alas, it was not to be, as the Wolves beat the Buffs 25-17 in the fourth set and 15-10 in the decisive fifth set to escape Tooele with the victory.
Olivia Chadwick led the visitors with 24 kills to go with 13 digs. Kaylee Coates had 15 kills and Adi Falslev added 13 for the Wolves, and Sarah Blau had 51 assists and five aces.
Individual statistics were not available at press time for Tooele.
Class 3A second round
Eleventh-seeded Grantsville (10-18) looked poised to pull off the upset in its second-round match against No. 6 North Sanpete (17-9) on Saturday in Mount Pleasant, beating the Hawks 25-22, 25-13 in the first two sets. However, the host team came storming back, winning the third set 25-19, before holding on to win the final two sets 25-22, 16-14.
The loss was the Cowboys’ sixth in their final seven matches, though Grantsville had won five in a row at the start of the month. On the other side, Saturday’s win was the fifth in a row for North Sanpete, and its sixth in its past eight matches dating back to Oct.9.
Individual statistics for both teams were unavailable at press time.
Class 4A first round
Stansbury’s 2020 season ended with a 27-25, 25-17, 25-21 loss to Cedar City in a first-round match Saturday at Desert Hills High School in St. George. The Stallions (5-23) were the No. 19 seed in the tournament, while the Reds (14-15) were ranked No. 14.
Individual statistics were not available at press time for either team. Cedar City went on to lose to No. 3 Desert Hills in three sets in the second round on Saturday, sending the Thunder to the quarterfinals.
Class 1A second round
Wendover (9-10) was the No. 11 seed in the Class 1A bracket, earning the Wildcats a trip to Escalante to face the sixth-seeded Moquis (17-9) in a second-round match Saturday. Escalante was too much for Wendover to overcome, picking up a 25-12, 25-13, 25-14 win over the Wildcats.
Leslie Luna and Gabriela Delgadillo each had two kills for Wendover. Jenevie Suarez had two blocks.
Escalante picked up its fourth win in its past five matches to advance to the 1A quarterfinals, which will be played Friday at Union High School in Roosevelt.
Class 1A first round
Dugway (1-17) faced Region 21 foe Tintic (7-19) in the opening round of the Class 1A tournament Friday in Eureka. The 15th-seeded Miners beat the 18th-seeded Mustangs in three sets.
Individual statistics and set scores were not available at press time. The Miners went on to lose to No. 2 Piute in the second round in Junction on Saturday.