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Volleyball: Weber continues hot start to season with sweep of Davis in region opener

By Patrick Carr - Prep Sports Reporter | Sep 14, 2023
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Weber High's volleyball team cheers after a point against Davis on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Pleasant View.
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Davis player Loryn Helgesen receives a ball in a match against Weber on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Pleasant View.
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Weber's Josie Rich, right, tries to reach the ball as teammate Jackie Craven (24) points during a match against Davis on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Pleasant View.
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Davis player Kayla Robinson (30) reaches for the ball in a match against Weber on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Pleasant View.
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Weber High's Olivia Boswell sets the ball in a match against Davis on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Pleasant View.
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Davis player Kennedy Thompson, left, strikes the ball against the Weber block of Alie Sparrow (1) and Cami Cvitkovich (2) on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Pleasant View.
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Weber High's Olivia Boswell (22) celebrates with Havi Montaño (9) during a match against Davis on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Pleasant View.
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Davis player Anabell Briggs passes the ball in a match against Weber on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Pleasant View.
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Weber player Josie Rich sets the ball in a match against Davis on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Pleasant View.

PLEASANT VIEW -- Weber High's volleyball team went 10-2 in non-region play this year, its best start to a season in several years.

The Warriors beat American Fork, Mountain Ridge and, most recently, Copper Hills in five sets along with a two-set tournament loss to preseason No. 1 Skyridge.

Those matches, among many, told the senior-heavy Warriors they were stronger than they thought and were right up there with the Utah County powerhouses.

"I just think we know how to play really well, and with the athleticism and the height and the confidence that we have, if there's ever a year that I felt very confident going into season it's this one. And I think we have that confidence," WHS head coach Renae Birch said.

The success has so far carried over into Region 1 play, which Weber opened with a three-set win over Davis on Thursday night, 25-19, 25-22, 25-15, to win its ninth straight match.

Region 1 is expected to be tight and competitive. Syracuse is the two-time defending region champion and one prevailing thought is it's the Titans' region title until someone else wins it.

Weber senior outside hitter Havi Montaño "100%" thinks the Warriors have a chance at making a run this year in the region.

The Warriors (11-2, 1-0 Region 1) had good stretches of play, bad stretches of play, but still managed everything Davis (4-7, 0-1) had to offer in three mostly tidy sets.

"I wouldn't say that we have players that can hit harder than everyone else, we definitely don't stand out when it comes out to the biggest block," Montaño said. "Just all those things ... we grew up together, we all played volleyball together for so long we just have that chemistry and we built it for so many years."

The Darts' Utah State-committed outside hitter Lauryn Helgesen had her fair share of big hits, but they had trouble on serve-receive passing all match.

Weber led the entire first set, with Montaño, Jackie Craven, Katelynn Field and Sophie Sparrow all getting in on the scoring hits.

Sparrow left early in the first set with a bloody nose and returned later, putting away a couple big hits that eventually helped secure the first set 25-19.

Davis led by as much as 14-7 to start the second set before Weber pulled back to 19-19 thanks to a couple timely hits by Craven, two aces by Montaño and a well-placed Montaño hit along the back line between two players.

A Brooke Whitlock ace made it 20-19 and she served three more bullets, two of them aces, for a 23-19 lead. Two Anabell Briggs hits gave the Darts some life, but a miscue on set point gave Weber a 25-22 second set.

Where Darts timeouts in the first and second sets stopped or even slowed Warriors runs, Weber was in control in the third.

After a 6-6 tie, Weber went on a 15-5 run with some of the same hitting and serving -- the Warriors had three lucky rolls on the net for aces, too -- and Davis errors that tilted the first two sets to Weber.

Montaño sniped the ball down the line on match point for the win.

Connect with reporter Patrick Carr via email at pcarr@standard.net, Twitter @patrickcarr_ and Instagram @standardexaminersports.

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