RICHFIELD — The 4A state volleyball tournament has a new look this year, but for the Sky View Bobcats there are a lot of familiar faces.
The Bobcats dished out a 25-20, 25-19, 25-22 win over Dixie Tuesday evening at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield to advance to the 4A semifinals.
The Bobcats come into the tournament after a 10-0 region season, ranked as the top team in the 4A division — a position that can cause some pressure.
“We’ve felt that for years,” said Sheila Sorensen, who is in her fourth year as the head coach of Sky View. “That’s our culture … the girls always come in and raise the bar.”
Leading the Bobcats is a core of six seniors, including outside hitter Haley McUne, who ended the night with 11 kills, three aces and 14 digs.
“We’ve got great passers,” Sorensen said. “They’ve just done a great job.”
Middle hitter Kaytlin Smart contributed 10 kills to the effort, as well as six blocks.
Middle blocker Jenna Gibbons also provided great protection at the net, Sorensen said.
The experience on the team was key in facing Dixie, a team the Bobcats haven’t been able to play this year. The last time the two teams encountered each other was during the 2019 state tournament when they played for third and fourth.
“We knew they had a great team,” Sorensen said.
Dixie was able to close the gap to within two points in the first and second games, and led through much of the third. However, Sky View’s girls were able to put together scoring runs at the right times to secure the win.
The Bobcats now advance in the tournament to the semifinals against Mountain Crest, a region rival.
“We have three of the top four, so it’s a great region,” Sorensen said. “We just battled each other every week, so it’s been nice.”
So far this year, the Bobcats have been able to win against Mountain Crest, but Sorensen said she expects a tough match.
“They have a lot of weapons,” Sorensen said.
The match against Mountain Crest is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28. The winner will go on to the state championship, which is to be played at 4:30 p.m.
This year’s tournament has taken on a different look, as the venue has changed from Utah Valley University for the first time in years.
“It’s been a great experience,” Sorensen said. “With the way things have been, the season could have ended at anytime. It’s fun to see all these teams down here.”