PLAIN CITY — Survive and advance is the name of state tournaments, however a team can manage to do so.
Wednesday in the second round of the 6A volleyball state playoffs, Fremont High beat Bingham in four sets in a match that started out looking like a Silverwolves blowout, then quickly changed to a tense, back-and-forth affair.
Set scores were 25-15, 25-21, 24-26, 25-23. In the fourth set, Fremont trailed 11-3 early before staging a comeback.
It was mostly elementary the first two sets for the Silverwolves, who were finding their spots well and not letting Bingham settle into a rhythm.
The Miners, led by hard-hitting freshman Levani Key, took a back-and-forth third set and then had some wind in their sails.
It carried over into a 9-3 lead that forced Fremont coach Alise Bowles to call timeout, and eventually the lead was 11-3.
“I think, in a way, we may have overlooked them a little bit. ... Our coach called a timeout and kind of handed it to us, and said get it together,” junior setter Ayva Cebollero said.
The Silverwolves would come back in the fourth, but not all at once. They’d do things like win two out of every three points, then three of every four, or three of every five.
Slowly the deficit whittled down from eight points to one, and then a tie game at 20-20. Big hits by the Silverwolves that were once getting blocked back at their feet were now finding open spaces on Bingham’s side of the floor.
The Miners led 22-20 before Whitley Surrage got a soft hit to fall, then sophomore Maggie Mendelson cracked a big hit that landed in the middle of the court — a typical occurrence for her this season as well as the first two sets Wednesday night.
“Serving,” Bowles said when asked how the Silverwolves came back. “Having that control from the service line, getting teams out of system, getting little aces here and there.”
Mendelson had an inside-out hit that found the far sideline in one of the final points of the fourth set before an instinctive play by Cebollero, the setter, sealed the match.
Last season, Cebollero was Fremont’s fourth-leading hitter with 101 kills and switched back to her normal position of setter this season.
It turns out having a setter-turned-outside-hitter-turned-setter can be pretty advantageous sometimes.
“The tempo of the set is really important and you need to be accurate, and do your job,” Cebollero said about what she learned last season by playing a different position.
On the fourth point of the match, Cebollero jumped up to set the ball and instead guided it into the back corner for a kill.
Trailing 13-7 out of a Bingham timeout, Fremont’s pass was about to float over the net before Cebollero jumped and guided it into the middle of the Miners’ defense.
She made a few other instinctual plays, such as the tried-and-true setter maneuver of faking a set and tipping the ball over the net.
Cebollero did that on the final point of the match and Bingham’s pass went out, securing the tense Fremont win.
“They came back and fought for it and gave us a run. It was a really good night, lots of good things happened and we’re just going to keep on getting better,” Bowles said.
Wednesday served as a good test for what’s to come Thursday, a meeting with 18-0 West Jordan, which blasted through Region 2 and survived a five-set encounter with No. 12 Skyridge on Wednesday.
BOUNTIFUL 3, VIEWMONT 0
BOUNTIFUL — Jordyn Harvey tallied 15 kills and Ashlee Rasmussen added 11 as top-seeded Bountiful beat 17-seed Viewmont (11-19) in the second round of the 5A state playoffs. Scores were 25-17, 27-25, 25-15.
Bountiful (17-6) advances to host 8-seed Lehi at 6 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals.
AMERICAN FORK 3, NORTHRIDGE 2
AMERICAN FORK — Karli Nielson posted 15 kills and 13 digs as No. 11 Northridge lost at 6-seed American Fork in the second round of the 6A tournament. Set scores were 25-15, 23-25, 25-10, 14-25, 15-12.
Alex Ivory had 10 kills for Northridge. Aubrey Lueders had 14 digs and Maddie Mudrow added 10. The Knights close the season at 12-10.
LEHI 3, BOX ELDER 0
LEHI — No. 9 Box Elder (21-8) was swept out of the 5A playoffs in a second-round loss at 8-seed Lehi. Set scores were 25-19, 25-7, 25-12.
Box Elder ends the season with a 21-8 record.
SPANISH FORK 3, WOODS CROSS 0
WOODS CROSS — No. 5 Woods Cross was upset by 12-seed Spanish Fork in a second-round loss and was eliminated from the 5A state playoffs. Scores were 25-21, 25-17, 25-14.
Woods Cross finishes the year with a 19-7 mark.