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No. 1 Skyline proves worthy of ranking

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The Skyline Eagles are champions once again.

Ranked No. 1 all year long, Skyline proved it was worthy of that lofty perch after defeating second-ranked Mountain View 15-10 in a one-game playoff to clinch the 5A state volleyball championship at Utah Valley State College Saturday.Mountain View forced the one-game playoff after defeating Skyline 16-14, 9-15, 15-7 to hand the Eagles their first loss in the double-elimination tournament.

The Bruins took a 3-0 lead in the final game, but Skyline used an 8-1 run to go ahead for good.

Mountain View had closed to within 13-10, but an ace by Britt Whiting and a kill by Alisa Kesler made Skyline the only two-time 5A champion.

"I've always wanted to take home a state title," said Skyline setter Hayley Bernson, who dished out 46 assists in the four games. "I gave everything I had and we did it."

Skyline coach Joan Burdett said that while this was her best all-around team, the senior Bernson was what made the Eagles go.

"There wasn't a dry place on her shirt," said Burdett. "Nobody works as hard as the setter."

Holly Harris and April Varner were the main benefactors of Bernson's assists, pounding out 15 and 11 kills, respectively.

Forcing the playoff game was quite a turnaround for the Bruins, who were soundly beaten by Skyline in their semifinal match earlier in the day 15-5, 15-8. Mountain View then had to defeat Bingham 17-15, 15-11 to get into the championship match.

"That extra game today hurt us," said Mountain View coach Kayla Walker.

Skyline appeared on its way to another easy win over the Bruins in their second meeting after opening a 6-1 lead in the first game. But Mountain View scored 10-straight points for a 11-6 lead.

The Eagles came back to take a 14-13 lead and had three game points but couldn't capitalize on them. Two blocks by Erin Hansen and a service winner by Sarah Redd put the Bruins up a game.

Skyline turned the tables in the second game, rallying back from an 8-3 deficit. The Eagles scored 12 of the final 13 points of the game and tied the match on a kill by Charlene Stewart.

The Bruins again built a lead in the third game at 11-2 before giving up five-straight points to Skyline to make things interesting. A pair of Skyline miscues and two blocks by Hansen gave Mountain View the match, forcing the playoff.