It took five games, but the Parowan Rams finally put away the relentless Juab Wasps to claim sixth place at the 2A state tournament at UVSC Saturday.
"I challenged the girls to come back (after their opening round loss to South Summit) and be the sixth-place team, which is hard because you want to be in that winner's bracket," Parowan head coach Alana Benson said.
Led by senior Dawn Nelson, who had 17 kills and seven blocks in the match, the Rams responded to Benson's challenge. After dropping the first set 22-25, Parowan capitalized on several Juab errors to take the next two, 25-21 and 25-17.
Juab rebounded behind five team aces and junior Camee Coombs' four kills to take the fourth game 25-21. Senior Kaitlyn Durbin led Juab with 13 kills. But the Rams scored the first 11 points, including three off aces by senior Megan Hulet, en route to a 15-5 fifth-game win.
"All year long, they've been finishing strong, but I've never seen them come out of a timeout like that," coach Benson said.
Hulet, the server for the first 11 points for Parowan, had four total aces in the match. Fellow senior Daysha Bell also contributed four aces and 27 assists. Junior Megan Robinson chipped in with seven kills.
By finishing eighth, the Wasps completed a fantastic tournament run. Juab almost upset Enterprise, Region 13's No. 1 team, in a five-game nail-biter in the opening round. Then Region 14's fifth-place team outlasted Rowland Hall and Manti in two more five-game matches before losing to the Rams.
"We're proud of ourselves," Juab coach Daylemarie Eves said. "They all showed up every single game and played with their hearts."