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New setter leads Fremont to victory

Davis' Airyn LeFevre attacks the ball in front of Bethany Wray (3) Thursday in Kaysville.
Davis' Airyn LeFevre attacks the ball in front of Bethany Wray (3) Thursday in Kaysville.
Liz Martin, Deseret Morning News

KAYSVILLE — Analaine Pelaez wasn't sure she could do it, but she was willing to give it a try.

The stand-out outside hitter was asked to set for her team while she was on the back row in hopes it would give some of her talented teammates the chance to shine as well.

"It's been a really good change," said Fremont coach Tammy McKean after the Silver Wolves earned a thrilling win over Davis 25-23, 24-26, 25-19, 25-22. "We have really good chemistry with Alexa (Monson) playing libero."

Monson started out the season as the team's other setter, with Melissa Pelaez, Ana's sophomore sister, the second setter in the 6-2 offense. But when the team struggled, McKean asked Monson to return to libero, which she played last year, and Ana to give setting part-time a try.

"One of the biggest reasons we went to the change was because it gives Ana a lot of control," McKean said. "All of the hitters are playing better because of the change."

Both Pelaez and Monson said they believe the change has benefited them personally and improved the play of the third-ranked Silver Wolves.

"It's challenging for sure," said Pelaez, who finished the match with 18 kills, 16 digs and four blocks. "But it makes me a more all-around player."'

She said when she first started setting, her hitting suffered a little. But now she's become very effective in both roles.

"I think it made us really strong," she said of the change.

Monson couldn't agree more.

"I love it," she said of playing libero. "It's just what I do; it's the biggest adrenaline rush ... Everybody is a lot more comfortable now."

McKean said the change makes Fremont more versatile, and the Silver Wolves utilized every option they had against a tough Davis team.

"They're a different team than they were the first time we played them," McKean said. "Everybody is getting better ... We just tried to keep our momentum by getting our big hitters the ball. They have a really versatile attack. They're tough."

Erica Nish led all hitters with 19 kills, 16 digs and earned six solo blocks. Bethany Wray added 15 kills and 19 digs.

Davis is benefiting from an offensive change as well.

"Everybody is starting to get comfortable with the new positions," Fox said. Davis was led by Alli Blake, who finished with seven solo blocks and three aces, while Kelsey Campbell earned 14 digs. McKenzie Garrett picked up 12 digs and Danielle Downs finished with 10 digs. The team earned 28 kills in the loss.