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High school volleyball: Brighton serves its way to first victory of the season

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Brighton High School's volleyball team won its first match of the season on Thursday night, defeating Olympus High School in three games, 25-18, 25-10, 25-13.

“I knew we would eventually win, but it feels nice to get in and officially say we’ve done it; it feels great,” Brighton head coach Adam Fernandez said.

Bri Ingles said that it was good to get the Bengals’ first win. Previously, Brighton was 0-2 in preseason play, having lost to Box Elder and Pleasant Grove.

“It feels amazing. It feels like we’re ready to come out strong throughout region (play), because our region starts in two weeks,” Ingles said.

Ingles had eight kills and three aces in the match and earned the praise of her coach after the match, along with Bailey Denna.

“They both played really, really nice games tonight, I was happy with both of them,” Fernandez said.

Ingles tagged Kate Monson and Denna as standout players in Brighton’s 3-0 victory.

“I was really impressed with Kate Monson, she’s a junior, she starts with me. She really came out hard and swang a lot. Also, our libero, Bailey Denna, was amazing, she got a couple really good digs, too,” Ingles said.

Coming into the match, Fernandez and Brighton’s game plan was to pass better than they had in previous matches.

“Up till this point, we hadn’t passed very well, so the game plan tonight was just pass. I knew everything else would fall into place if we passed well, and luckily, they did that, for the most part,” Fernandez said.

Ingles was also impressed with her teammates’ serving.

“As a team, I think we served really aggressively and that got us a lot of points with aces, along with our passing wasn’t too terrible,” Ingles said.

Brighton excelled in serving on Thursday, rarely wasting one.

“I think serving was really nice, we only missed a couple serves, whereas our last couple matches we missed a few more than I’d like,” Fernandez said. “I think serving was probably our biggest ally tonight. We served for a lot of tough points.”

For the most part, the Bengals breezed through the first and second games and appeared primed to do the same through the third set. Brighton opened the third game with a 12-4 run, but in the middle of the game, the Titans rallied to make it close. Olympus scored six straight points, but Brighton overcame the surge from the Titans, winning eight of the next nine points to seal the game, and the match.

“I just told them, ‘It just takes one ball to turn momentum around, so who’s going to get that one ball for me,’” Fernandez said. “We ended up getting a nice kill and it turned it around and kind of quieted them.”

Brighton improves to 1-2 in preseason play and Olympus falls to 0-2. The Bengals’ next match is at home against Riverton, while the Titans host Taylorsville.