PLEASANT GROVE — Though the outcome was the same, the match itself was totally different.
Pleasant Grove and Morgan met on the volleyball court for the second time early in the season, and the Vikings took it to the Trojans in four games once again. But since the Tournament of Champions at Skyline High School, both teams have shown marked improvement.
The 27-25, 25-15, 22-25, 26-24 victory was hard fought on both sides, with the entire match marked by great digging, passing, setting, hitting and blocking by both top-ranked teams. The Vikings hold the No. 2 spot in 5A while Morgan is sitting at No. 2 in 3A.
"Both teams are so much better now," said Pleasant Grove coach Mike Daniel. "It wasn't the same game at all."
He couldn't throw enough compliments to the Trojan team, and was especially envious of their tough serving, the only part of his own team's game that didn't make him happy.
The Vikings racked up 24 service errors and 15 aces in the match, which Daniel noted is the most missed serves his team has ever hit in its own gym.
"A weak serve is a weak serve," he said. "I'll just have to teach these kids how to serve tough, and it will pay off in the end."
In their first home match of the season, the Vikings were a little streaky and found themselves behind at the start of every game. But they always finished strong, even though they didn't quite pull out Game 3.
The two teams' defenses were so tough that neither the Vikings nor the Trojans put together a good kill percentage, and Pleasant Grove had to settle for 44 team kills. But Hailey Jeppson did manage 12 kills for Pleasant Grove. Kortney Robinson had kills in addition to three aces, and setter Allyce Wilson put up the strongest hitting percentage on the team with six kills of her own. She also put up 35 assists in the match.
The team had 10 blocks, including four solos and 12 block assists, and Hailey Barner came off the bench for a huge block and a couple of big kills at critical stages in the match.
The teams were tied 32 times throughout the four games. In other prep volleyball games Tuesday:
BINGHAM DEF. OREM 25-17, 25-27, 21-25, 25-19, 15-9: Orem's Carly Taylor led Orem with 13 kills in a losing effort, while Dani Robinson added 11.
CARBON DEF. WASATCH 25-22, 25-12, 25-18: The Dinos rolled past the Wasps. Jamie King led the Dinos with 7 kills. Wasatch's Amber Kohler had 15 digs.
MOUNTAIN VIEW DEF. MANILA 25-16, 19-25, 23-25, 25-7, 15-11: Manila's Nia Beck had nine kills with four blocks.