OREM — No one can argue that placing third in state is a worthy achievement. But the obvious disappointment in Intermountain Christian head coach Melisa Blanken's voice illustrated the fact she wanted her Lions to go further in the 1A state volleyball championships.
After falling to Rich in a tough four-gamer, Blanken's team swept Monticello, 25-13, 25-22, 30-28.
"We definitely wanted to play for the championship, but I also know the seniors didn't want to end on a losing note," Blanken said.
Intermountain Christian went up 8-6 in the first game, then pulled away to eventually take it 25-13.
Outside hitter Monica Schwarz got things going for the Lions in the second game. Her smooth, powerful hitting style helped stake ICS to an 18-13 advantage.
Monticello fought back and tied the game at 22 apiece but not before the Lions closed it out with three straight points.
After the game, Schwarz was happy with the win.
"We had a lot of fun and that's what we wanted to do in this match," she said. "It wasn't my best game, but I'm glad to finish things out with a win."
Down 2-0, Monticello wasn't ready to go quietly. The Buckaroos were down 7-3 but kept clawing back and eventually took the lead at 21-20.
The remainder of the game featured five ties and four lead changes. Monticello fought off two match points and led 28-27 before losing the final three points.
Although the Buckaroos hung in until the end of the third game, Blanken said her team didn't face much adversity.
"I think they (Intermountain Christian) were ready to be done," she said. "They weren't worried too much."
Schwarz led the Lions in victory with 13 kills, while Brooke Anderson was solid with 28 assists. Ashley Moore contributed with five solo blocks, while Rebekah Jongert finished with 23 digs.
As a team, the Lions served an impressive 92 percentage.