Lone Peak entered the game in first place in Region 3, having only lost one region game so far in the inaugural boys volleyball season in Utah.

Westlake came in tied for second place with Pleasant Grove, the only team to previously defeat the Knights.

Westlake head coach Whitney Randall knew this game would be tough for her team, but challenged them to remain focused and control what they can control.

She said, “We have to understand that with a good team like that, they are not going to give us anything. So we have to minimize our errors.”

Westlake started out doing just that, claiming a set one victory in which it scored four aces — two for freshman Rigden Hansen, who would finish with three, and two for stellar sophomore Kilika Tafa.

Things continued to go well for the Thunder in the second set, as they found themselves up early 10-5. But Lone Peak wouldn’t go down easily, and it stormed back to take the lead late in the set.

A huge block from Tafa, who came into the match averaging 1.7 per game, tied the game at 24. A hitting error for Lone Peak then set up match point for Westlake and an ace from setter Keagan Cundiff sealed the deal to give Westlake a 2-0 lead.

Lone Peak again didn’t back down, dominating set three to regain some momentum behind aces from Freddy Dayton and team captain Easton Read.

Good fortune continued for the Knights in the fourth set. They claimed a 25-22 victory to even the game at two sets apiece.

Both teams knew the fifth set was going to be huge, and Lone Peak seemed to be carrying all the momentum on its side.

Coach Randall said, “Something that we really push, especially in the fifth, is that we really wanted to limit their serving runs. And the second thing we really wanted to do is control the controllables. We can control the energy that we bring, and we can control the adjustments that we make.”

Westlake did just that, as it led nearly the entire set. The victory was punctuated by massive kills from Tafa and Landon Doller, who is second on the team in kills.

It was an emotional victory for Westlake.

Randall said, “They are a fun team to play. A lot of our players know each other, and they have a good relationship.” That camaraderie showed on the court, with players constantly conversing and an exciting energy filling the gym.

Westlake looks ahead to its final regular season match against American Fork on Monday, a team it swept just two weeks ago.

Lone Peak will face off against Skyridge. It defeated the Falcons 3-1 earlier this season.