OREM — The Highland Rams played their best volleyball when it counted most. Highland swept rival Cottonwood 25-11, 25-21 and 29-27 to win in the Class 4A championship.
Led by seniors Valerie Iloa and Priscilla Lolohea (tournament MVP), the Rams used some great defense at the net to turn the Colts away in three games.
Head coach Clint Barnes said he liked the team's position going into the tournament because they weren't the favorites to win it all. The team showed why Barnes was excited about its chances. In four tournament matches, the Rams dropped only one game, which came against Orem in the semifinals.
The win is Highland's first volleyball title since 1997 going back to the Logan Tom era.
Playing under the radar favored the Rams all season long.
Cottonwood was tabbed as the clear favorite to win Region 6, but that changed when Highland beat the Colts easily 25-15, 25-20, and 25-21 back in late September. They beat them again at Cottonwood in a five-game match to win region.
For the most part the Rams cruised through region play, losing only once to West on Sept. 27. The loss was the last one of the year for Highland. Counting the four matches it won in the 4A tournament, Highland rolled off 12 straight victories to end the year.
Here are the players named to the 4A all-tournament team: Priscilla Lolohea, OH, Highland; Valerie Iloa, MB, Highland; Susan Harris, S, Highland; Kylie Hudson, S, Cottonwood; Kailie Aiono, MB, Cottonwood; Mandy Munns, MB, Box Elder; and Christina Measom, MB, Lehi.