OREM — Fremont High hasn’t won a state volleyball championship in the school’s relatively brief existence. The Silverwolves have been close at times, but never the victors.
Playing into the dead of the night Thursday, Fremont kept its title chances alive at the 6A volleyball state tournament, sweeping Taylorsville with ease in the second round and sweeping Davis in the quarterfinals 26-24, 25-19, 25-19.
The Darts and Fremont had met two previous times this season, both of which ended as four-set wins for the Silverwolves. Davis had, earlier Thursday, come back to beat American Fork in five sets, so from the start it was evident the Darts were out for something different.
Outside Katie Corelli hammered a few big hits as Davis turned a back-and-forth first set into a brief 14-12 lead. Perhaps it was the mental approach of playing as an underdog that helped the Darts.
At 20-20, Corelli smashed another kill that deflected into the stands. Fremont freshman hitter Maggie Mendelson responded with a kill of her own and a block to give the Silverwolves a 22-21 lead.
A rocket hit by Kate Sargent saved a set point for Davis trailing 24-23, but Fremont held its nerve down the stretch.
“We know how they play, we stuck together, we saw their hitters, saw through the block and stayed positive,” Fremont sophomore Rylie Merrill said.
Carlie Peterson’s serve fueled the Silverwolves’ first run of the second set, pushing them from a 5-4 lead to 9-4 after a short serve fell in for an ace.
Corelli spun a hit right on the line to cut the lead to 12-7. Fremont’s Whitley Surrage got a kill block to make it 18-13 and Davis eventually called timeout down 21-14.
The freshman phenom Mendelson delivered the winning point of the second set, jumping high enough to find a short angle on a hit about halfway up the sideline.
Merrill hit an ace near the back line as part of an 8-3 start to the third set for the Silverwolves. Merrill then dove full stretch to stop a Davis hit from finding the back corner and Fremont won the point to go up 10-5.
Surrage made another big block in the third set for a 14-7 lead. Fremont dealt with Davis’ big hits better in the final two sets.
“(Davis) pushed us really hard and we figured out that we were able to pick them up and that’s when we figured out that we were here to win,” Merrill said.
Fremont now plays the Pleasant Grove/Bingham winner, the result of which wasn’t known at press time as matches stretched late into the night Thursday. That semifinal match will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at UVU, with the championship that night at 6:30 p.m. should the Silverwolves advance.
The last time a Region 1 team went to the semifinals was Weber in 2016, which lost in five sets to eventual champion Lone Peak. The 6A semifinals are usually populated by Region 4 teams such as PG and Lone Peak, so a Region 1 team making it this far in the first place is impressive.
SYRACUSE 3, NORTHRIDGE 0
OREM — No. 5 seed Syracuse swept 12-seed Northridge 25-13, 25-20, 25-20 in the 6A second round.
Syracuse (21-6) advanced to meet 4-seed Lone Peak in the quarterfinals.
Northridge (18-11) dropped into the consolation bracket.
LONE PEAK 3, SYRACUSE 0
OREM — No. 5 Syracuse was swept by 4-seed Lone Peak 25-10, 25-15, 25-13 in the quarterfinals.
The Titans (21-7) dropped into the single-loss bracket, where they will match up against 9-seed Corner Canyon at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
WEST 3, NORTHRIDGE 0
OREM — No. 12 Northridge saw its season come to an end in a straight-sets loss to 13-seed West (16-12) in the consolation bracket. Set scores were 25-22, 25-19, 25-21.
The Knights end the season at 18-12 overall and 9-5 in Region 1.
AMERICAN FORK 2
OREM — No. 10 Davis (19-9) won the last three sets against 7-seed American Fork (15-13) to advance to the 6A quarterfinals. Set scores were 20-25, 20-25, 26-24, 25-21, 15-11.
That advanced the Darts to the quarterfinals to face Fremont.
PLEASANT GROVE 3, WEBER 0
OREM — No. 19 Weber lost in straight sets to 3-seed Pleasant Grove 25-13, 25-13, 25-10.
The Warriors (9-19) faced 11-seed Skyridge in the consolation bracket. That contest concluded late Thursday after press time.