OREM — Too many rally killers stifled the Darts in their quest to play in consecutive state 5-A tournament championship matches.
Region 4 runner-up Pleasant Grove needed just 1 hour and 8 minutes to sweep three-time defending Region 1 champion Davis High on Saturday at Utah Valley University, snapping the nationally-ranked Darts’ 12-match winning streak.
It was the third season meeting between the Vikings and Davis, which was making its third straight final four appearance.
The Darts swept the Vikings in their Aug. 21 season opener at Kaysville.
Pleasant Grove, which spanked league rival Lone Peak 25-16, 25-14, 25-19 later Saturday for the 5-A title — its first since 2009 when the Vikings won a three-setter against the Knights — also swept Davis at the Rocky Mountain Champions Classic on Sept. 8 at Lone Peak.
The Knights captured the 2010 state 5-A championship with a four-set win over Pleasant Grove.
“We had just played a crazy and intense match against Century (Idaho) and then we had to play Pleasant Grove,” said Darts junior setter Kendall Sargent on Friday. “They played really well and we didn’t play that badly. We’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
Obviously, Davis, which sits No. 31 in the PrepVolleyball.com Century Club National High School Rankings — up from No. 34 in the previous rankings, didn’t get the memorandum.
“If we could do anything over, it would be more focused and mentally prepared,” said senior outside hitter Camille Walker. “The focus was not there against Pleasant Grove and it killed us. I don’t think we were overconfident. They just got the better of us today.”
The Vikings won set 1 on a Darts’ service error. After rallying from a 12-5 set 3 deficit and closing within 23-21, Davis committed another service error.
“We weren’t playing our best at all and some of us didn’t show up to play,” said the 17-year-old Walker, who has verbally committed to BYU. We knew it would be a tough matchup; we were 1-1 against them.
“I do think we were a little nervous the whole time. We just didn’t come out and play like we can,” she said. “We had too many tiny and hurried errors, but they all added up.”
In a rematch of the 2011 5-A title game, the defending champion Darts tangled with Lehi for third and fourth place.
“It was not the match we were hoping for, but we knew we had to play together and make it count,” Walker said.
Davis closed out the season on a winning note with a 25-16, 23-25, 25-21, 25-11 victory over the Pioneers in the Utah Community Credit Union Center in 1 hour and 24 minutes.
“I’m so sad it’s over, but I don’t have any regrets. It kind of hit me walking off the court this was my last match as a Davis Dart,” Walker said.
Davis (32-2 overall) was 90-12 in Walker’s three years as a starter with one state 5-A championship and two third-place finishes.
“Of course, winning the state title last year was the highlight of my career and I love my team,” Walker said. “It was hard on us not playing for the title today. We had to refocus, not settle for fourth place and come out strong.”
Walker had 12 kills, seven digs and three aces against Lehi.
Kaylie Kamalu, a Utah State commit, had 10 kills and one assist; Weber State commit Tanisha Langston had 12 kills, four digs and four aces; and Idaho State commit Marissa Todd had six kills, one solo block, five digs and one ace.
Jessica Richardson had four kills and one solo block; Sargent had 22 assists, one kill and two digs; setter Jamie Selleneit had 11 assists and five digs; and libero April Bennett had 14 digs, one assist and an ace for the Darts, who had 13 aces and committed six service errors.
“Losing to Pleasant Grove was such a bummer. We were timid at times and playing not to lose instead of playing to win,” Walker said. “But we accomplished a lot of really good things with this group, and you can’t be disappointed about that.”
“Region 4 is a really strong volleyball region,” said Sargent on Friday. “But our region is strong. We have to have some Northern Utah pride and show them what Region 1 is all about. Oh, heck yeah, we’re so ready. It should be a good day for Davis High.”
Sky View topped Timpview 18-16 in the fifth set to earn the state 4-A title late Saturday.
• pleasant grove def. davis 25-20, 25-19, 25-21: Walker had 11 kills, three digs and three aces; Langston had seven kills, two solo blocks and three digs; Tina Taylor had four kills; Kamalu had one kill, six digs and two aces; and Sargent had 18 assists and five digs for the Darts, who had eight aces and committed 12 service errors.
• Bingham def. northridge 25-15, 16-25, 25-8, 25-20: The Knights’ Kaitlin Verbitski had nine kills, two block assists and seven digs; Alex Gardner had five kills and three block assists; Brittley Eldredge had five kills and two block assists; Alex Smith had four kills, one block assist and an ace; Ashley Vernier had three kills and two digs; Shayd Wright had one assist and 16 digs; setter Aimee Kyed had 20 assists, three kills, two block assists and two aces; and libero Nikki Hansen had 24 digs and one kill for Northridge (14-17), which had four aces and committed four service errors.
• fremont def. viewmont 25-20, 25-9, 25-15: The Silver Wolves’ Siera Green had seven kills; Brooke Lamb had six kills and five digs; Rachel Nish had five kills, four digs and three aces; Jessica Quayle had four kills and two digs; Kayla Ivins had four kills; Tyler Funk had three digs and four aces; setter McKenzie Burrows had 20 assists, five digs and three aces; and libero Megan Gallegos had 17 digs and two aces for Fremont, which played without senior libero Sariah Pelaez, who has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.
Pelaez was injured in the Oct. 24 Region 1 match versus Northridge at the ’Ridge — the Silver Wolves won a five-setter — and will have an magnetic resonance imaging on Monday in Park City.
• bingham def. fremont 25-13, 25-23, 25-7: Less than 25 minutes after eliminating the Vikings, the Silver Wolves had to turn around and play the Miners for fifth and seventh place.
Green had eight kills and one ace; Nish had seven kills and five digs; Lamb had seven kills and three digs; Ivins had two kills; Funk had three digs; Burrows had 19 assists and six digs; and Gallegos had 12 digs and two aces for Fremont (17-15), which placed seventh at the 5-A tournament.
It was the Silver Wolves first state 5-A tournament finish since an eighth-place showing in 2008.
• woods cross def. bonneville 25-11, 25-22, 25-18: The Lakers’ Kalyn Sotomayor had seven kills and two digs; Kelly Roberts had six kills and 13 digs; Cortney Porter had five kills, one solo block and five digs; Tavia Young had three kills, one solo block and five digs; setter Elora Penrod had 16 assists and five digs; setter Andy Hancock had seven assists and 11 digs; and libero Jamie Garner had 14 digs for Bonneville (16-16).
The Lakers lost to Westlake 25-22, 13-25, 23-25, 25-13, 18-16 in a late championship-bracket match Friday.