AMERICAN FORK — American Fork jumped on the No. 4 Provo Bulldogs in Game 1 only to see Provo power its way back into the match and control the next three games for a 3-1 win, 20-25, 25-12, 25-23, 25-19.
The Bulldogs now find themselves 2-0 in Region 6 competition and 6-0 overall, while the Cavemen drop to 1-1 and 2-4.
The Cavemen came out fired up while the Bulldogs were a little sluggish in Game 1, and American Fork led from start to finish. Emillie Toone pounded out six kills and Shanna King had three to lead the Cavemen. Provo's own powerful hitters, Ellie Belnap and Fa'alua Lobendahn combined for seven to lead the Bulldogs, who fended off game point twice before surrendering the first game.
"This is the best American Fork team I've seen in five years," acknowledged Provo coach Wendy Bills. "Jamie Ingersoll (first year Caveman coach) has done a great job with that team." But she also noted that her own team wasn't ready to play in Game 1. "We weren't focused early, and we started slow. Overall we served better and our defense has improved, but our blocking's still not where we need it to be." After Game 1 the Bulldogs took charge, and the Cavemen seemed to wilt under the Game 2 pressure, not putting up much of a fight before dropping the second game 25-12.
"None of the girls did much of anything in Game 2," lamented Ingersoll.
"Three-fourths of sports is mental. We know we have the ability because we've taken games off the best teams in the state, but we've got to get better at the mental part." The Cavemen came back to make it close in game three, scoring five straight on game point, but finally surrendering to a Julie Anderson kill. Game 4 was more of the same, but both teams' defenses picked it up a notch, and the longest rally of the game came on Provo's second match point, when Emillie Toone used her powerful arm to lay down a kill. Provo stopped the comeback, and Belnap finished off the match with a strong kill of her own.
The Cavemen and Bulldogs are two of the tallest teams in Utah County and boast three of the toughest hitters in Toone (16 kills, 10 blocks), Lobendahn (12 kills) and Belnap (nine kills). Provo also had a good night from Anderson who finished with eight kills of her own, and King had six for American Fork.
The road doesn't get much easier for the Cavemen, who play a tough Timpview team next week, while the Bulldogs greet Payson in Provo.
In other prep volleyball action:
CLEARFIELD DEF. LAYTON 18-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-22:BestreeHackbarth had 21 assists for the Lancers in a losing effort. JackieTwitchell had 10 kills, 6 blocks and 5 digs in helping lead the Falcons to the win.
FREMONT DEF. NORTHRIDGE 25-21, 25-17, 25-21: Fremont easily beat Northridge in Region 1 volleyball action.
VIEWMONT DEF. WEBER 25-11, 19-25, 25-11, 25-15: Viewmont's ArialSalvo had 20 kills and 13 digs in a 3-1 win over Weber.
ALTA DEF. HILLCREST 25-14, 25-21, 25-12: Hillcrest fell to a tough Alta squad quickly in a Region 2 showdown.
WEST JORDAN DEF. BINGHAM 25-9, 25-17, 25-20:ShellyWilson had seven kills to lead West Jordan to a straight set win over Bingham in Region 2 action.
BRIGHTON DEF. COPPER HILLS 25-12, 25-13, 25-20: The Bengals racked up 17 service aces against the Grizzlies while keeping their record perfect on the young season.
JORDAN DEF. RIVERTON 25-22, 14-25, 26-24, 16-25, 15-12: Jordan needed five sets to down Riverton in Region 2 play.
HUNTER DEF. KEARNS 25-18, 25-21, 25-20:JanelleDavidson had four kills and eight blocks to lead the Wolverines to a straight-set win over Kearns.
SKYLINE DEF. COTTONWOOD 25-18, 25-23, 16-25, 25-14: Skyline takes four to beat a worthy Colts squad.
TAYLORSVILLE DEF. GRANGER 23-25, 24-26, 25-15, 25-7, 15-12:BrittanyMcReynolds served twelve straight points in the fourth game of a tight five game match over the Lancers.
LOGAN DEF. MOUNTAIN CREST 25-23, 26-24, 21-25, 22-25, 15-13: The Grizzlies outlasted the Mustangs in a tough five game match in Region 4.
SKY VIEW DEF. BONNEVILLE 25-22, 25-10, 25-1:EmilyJob had seventeen straight serves in the third game of the match. The Bobcats as a team had eight aces in a Region 4 win over the Lakers.
EAST DEF. WEST 22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 16-25, 15-12: East narrowly escaped with the win against a tough West squad.
WOODS CROSS DEF. HIGHLAND 25-9, 25-13, 25-14:KathrynLovell had 17 kills for the Wildcats as they beat an overmatched Highland squad.
BOUNTIFUL DEF. MURRAY 25-19, 11-25, 25-21, 25-20: Bountiful remains unbeaten Region 5 play with the win against the Spartans.
PLEASANT GROVE DEF. TIMPANOGOS 25-17, 25-13, 27-25:JalynnThornton served seven aces for Pleasant Grove as they beat Timpanogos easily.
NORTH SANPETE DEF. CARBON 25-18, 25-19, 25-18: North Sanpete relied on great blocking up front to beat Carbon.
UNION DEF. GRANITE 25-21, 25-14, 25-17: Union downed an overmatched Granite squad in straight matches.
BEAR RIVER DEF. TOOELE 28-26, 25-23, 16-25, 17-25, 15-13:JessicaPetersen had 17 kills for Bear River as they escape with a victory in five close matches.
MORGAN DEF. OGDEN 25-19, 25-13, 25-9:CherylBlazzard had eight service points, five aces, and 11 kills to lead Morgan to a shutout win over Ogden.
SOUTH SEVIER DEF. NORTH SEVIER 25-14, 25-15, 25-18:KasceeJacobs notched 10 kills and 4 blocks for South Sevier as they roll to the win against North Sevier.
GRAND DEF. JUAB 25-119, 25-18, 25-17:KatelynSirblen helped Grand to improve to unbeaten in Region 14 volleyball.
SOUTH SUMMIT DEF. JUAN DIEGO 26-24, 25-18, 25-15:HeatherRice, JonealGoodwin and SamieMitchell all were 100% on their serves in a win over the Soaring Eagle for the Wildcats.
REGION 16 S.
MANILA DEF. ALTAMONT 25-20, 25-23, 25-20:ChamrieWagoner carried Manila past Altamont yesterday.
INTERMOUNTAIN CHRISTIAN DEF. MOUNT VERNON 25-21, 13-25, 25-14, 25-21:KatieSpence led the Lions with her court presence and play as they defeated the Patriots for their first region win.
ST. JOSEPH DEF. CHRISTIAN HERITAGE 25-13, 25-15, 25-13:RockiLam had 10 kills, five digs, and four service aces for St. Joseph's in a win over Christian Heritage.
WATERFORD DEF. SALT LAKE LUTHERAN 25-22, 25-15, 25-18:KaraManning and CassieNorman had strong games for the Ravens in a Region 17 win over Salt Lake Lutheran.
ALTA DEF. JORDAN 25-18, 25-14, 25-23: The Hawks cruise to the victory against an overwhelmed Beetdiggers team.
JORDAN DEF. COPPER HILLS 25-17, 25-21, 25-22:Jordan beat Copper Hills in three straight close matches.