WEST VALLEY CITY — Camille Smith knew it wasn't a lack of skill that would defeat her team in Thursday's preseason match at Granger High School.
The Clearfield volleyball team had beaten the Lancers twice in a tournament last week. Then they beat volleyball powerhouse, Skyline, on Tuesday in three straight games. So, if anything, the Falcons' coach feared complacency, if anything, could be the team's downfall.
And it was — for a game.
"We just weren't very intense that first game," Smith said after Clearfield rebounded to win the next three games and the match with increasing efficiency, 17-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-9.
The team's star hitter, Kate Robison, agreed with her coach. In fact, she said, they knew Granger was capable of beating them and definitely had the desire.
"We just weren't quite ready," she said. "We beat Skyline on Tuesday, and we'd lost to them over and over for a long time. So we knew they'd want to beat us just as much as we wanted to beat Skyline . . . We were ready to go — after that first game."
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Robison, has verbally committed to the University of Utah, led her team to the win with solid net play and scorching jump serves. She's an over achiever both on and off the court with a 4.0 GPA as a 16-year-old senior. She completed both first and second grade in the same year. She finished with 16 kills, five blocks and six digs. Sophomore teammate Alison Culp added 10 kills and three blocks in the middle for the Falcons.
The Falcons knew to beat the Lancers they had to do something about all-state outside hitter Amanda Orgill.
"We know who she is," Smith said with a smile. "We were trying to make sure she didn't get too involved in the game because she's pretty hard to stop."
Still, Orgill managed 11 kills and had some great defensive plays. Co-captain Brittney Heaton also had some great defensive pick-ups and kept Granger close in the third and four games with her hustle.
Granger coach Kristin Estes said the team hoped the third time would be the charm.
"We wanted to win," she said. "We wanted to prove that Granger is a team to be contended with, but we just lost our intensity; we lost our focus."
She said the team has the skills and the talent to play with any in 5A, but the Lancers' confidence wavers for no real reason.
"They've just got to believe in themselves," she said. "It's almost like they're afraid of winning sometimes."
Both coaches say their teams are adjusting to the new 3-out-of-5 rally score, but opted to go just best of three in the sub-varsity games. In other volleyball games Thursday:
AMERICAN FORK DEF. OREM 25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-12: Middle hitter Emiliee Toone led the Cavemen to a come-from-behind win with big plays at the net in all five games — especially the final game.
INTERMOUNTAIN CHRISTIAN DEF. DUGWAY 25-16, 25-20, 21-25, 25-16: The Lions won the first two games to post their first victory of the season.
BRIGHTON DEF. HILLCREST 25-17, 25-15, 25-19: Annie Kelley had 10 kills to help the Bengals over the Huskies in Region 2 play.
WASATCH ACADEMY DEF. MERIDIAN 25-20, 25-22, 25-15:
NORTH SANPETE DEF. WASATCH 33-31, 25-21, 25-22:Kali Larsen smashed 24 kills, and teammate Alison Hamilton earned 37 assists in the Hawks win over the Wasps.
LONE PEAK DEF. SPANISH FORK 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-14: After spliting the first two games, the Knights won games three and four to beat the Dons in region action. Jayni Dowse had 5 kills and 3 blocks while Megan Saualbred had 7 kills and 2 blocks for Lone Peak. Jayne Burgess added eight digs for the victors.
MORGAN DEF. MOUNTAIN CREST 25-19, 26-28, 25-13, 25-21: Eli Rees led the Trojans with 14 kills, while teammates Cheryl Blazzard served 15 points and Shannon Evans served 20 points.
DIXIE DEF. PAROWAN 25-18, 25-19, 25-17: The Flyers relied on solid serving in defeating Parowan.
RICHFIELD 3, S. SEVIER 2: The Wildcats defeated the Rams 3-2 in a tight match. Kascee Jacobs had 17 kills while Jessica Baker had 7 blocks in the loss.
BOX ELDER 3, B. RIVER 0: The Bees defeated the Bears three games to two. Jessica Peterson had 11 kills and 9 digs in the loss.