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High school volleyball: Top seed Bountiful survives big scare from Lehi to advance to 5A semifinals

Bountiful players celebrate after scoring a point against Lehi during a high school 5A volleyball quarterfinal at Bountiful High School in Bountiful on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020.
Bountiful players celebrate after scoring a point against Lehi during a high school 5A volleyball quarterfinal at Bountiful High School in Bountiful on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020.
Yukai Peng, Deseret News

BOUNTIFUL — Bountiful’s volleyball team continued its hot streak Thursday night, topping eighth seed Lehi (25-16, 19-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-8) in the 5A volleyball quarterfinals. It was the 11th straight victory for the top-seeded Braves, but it was also the toughest match they’ve played this season.

“This was our first five set match of the season, but we knew going into state we were going to have some tougher games,” said Bountiful’s Jordyn Harvey. “At practice we worked on coming from behind, having the grit and toughness that we showed tonight. I think it paid off.”

Though it’s always a better feeling to come out the victor, Harvey admitted it was the most fun she’s had in a game this season, crediting Lehi for a great match. The two teams battled throughout the night and left everything on the floor for a rowdy and engaged crowd.

“This is playoff volleyball — good teams all around,” said Bountiful coach Sarah Chism. “I told (our team) after the first set, ‘They are a great team, they are not going to go away, they are going to fight hard, we are going to fight harder and we are going to be here for a long time’.”

The Braves had only dropped three sets in their prior 10 games so it wasn’t a surprise when they came out and cruised to a nine-point (25-16) win in the opening effort. But the night did prove long as Lehi found itself up by eight points twice in the second set before winning 25-19.

Getting the first win under their belt came behind strong serving efforts by both teams in the opening two sets.

In the third set, Lehi jumped out to a 9-4 lead behind its blocking attack, but that was the biggest margin the Pioneers would see as Bountiful tied things up at 10-10 after Catherine Kukta served five straight points. From there, the two teams battled to six more ties before Lehi won 25-23 on a Braves’ service error.

The fourth set highlighted two of the best attackers around in Harvey and Lehi’s Avery Shewell. Harvey pounded down two kills to give Bountiful a 12-11 edge after trailing just prior. From there, Bountiful never trailed again in the set despite Shewell adding more kills.

That left the fifth set where Bountiful went back to its bread and butter with its serving game.

“We sent our best server (Mia Ray) back at the first of that set and she served us to 5-1 and was awesome,” said Chism.

From there, Lehi just couldn’t get the wheels in motion enough as Bountiful won 15-8.

Harvey finished the night with 21 kills while Shewell added 23 kills.