Lady Devils finish third in Region 15 volleyball, head to state tournament
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Oct 31, 2013 | 1138 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Volleyball
Clad in pink T-shirts and jerseys, players and coaches from Grand and North Sevier pose following their “Swing for Life” volleyball match on Friday, Oct. 25. The event raised $800 for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Photos by Jeff Richards
Clad in pink T-shirts and jerseys, players and coaches from Grand and North Sevier pose following their “Swing for Life” volleyball match on Friday, Oct. 25. The event raised $800 for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Photos by Jeff Richards
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Tiffanie Whipple and Shailee Croasmun of Grand attempt to block a hit from South Sevier’s Shani Dustin, during the Lady Devils’ eventual 3-2 victory over the Lady Rams on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Tiffanie Whipple and Shailee Croasmun of Grand attempt to block a hit from South Sevier’s Shani Dustin, during the Lady Devils’ eventual 3-2 victory over the Lady Rams on Saturday, Oct. 26.
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The Grand County High School volleyball team won its last two regular-season region games at home last weekend, earning them Lady Devils a No. 3 seed in the upcoming state playoffs.

“By beating South Sevier in our last game, we improved to 6-4 in Region 15, and South Sevier dropped to 5-5,” said GCHS head coach Deb Hren.

She said that the Lady Devils will open their 2A state playoff schedule with a match against Waterford at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1 at Utah Valley University in Orem. Waterford is the Region 14’s No. 2 seed.

Earlier last week, on Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Lady Devils lost to the Monticello Lady Buckaroos in a non-region match played at Monticello. The Lady Buckaroos prevailed three games to one (17-25, 20-25, 25-15, 19-25). Sydney Lema led the Lady Devils with 13 kills, three service aces, six solo blocks, and 18 digs.

Then, on Friday, Oct. 25, the Lady Devils played at home for the first time in a month when they hosted the North Sevier Lady Wolves. Both teams wore pink jerseys during the game, which was a “Swing for Life” event to raise money for the fight against breast cancer. Approximately $800 in donations was raised for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Hren said.

Grand swept North Sevier in straight sets, 25-19, 25-19, and 25-12. Lema again led the Lady Devils in kills with 12. Haley Rice and Shailee Croasmun recorded seven digs apiece. Brook Schultz had a team-high 14 assists, while Madison Jones added 12.

Saturday afternoon’s contest against South Sevier was a rematch of the grueling five-set battle the two teams had experienced in their last encounter, at Monroe on Oct. 4. South Sevier had come back to win the fourth and fifth sets to claim the victory in that earlier contest.

At Moab on Oct. 26, the Lady Devils started strong against the Lady Rams, winning the first two games by respective scores of 25-18 and 25-23. South Sevier came back to win the third and fourth games, 25-20 and 25-13.

Down 12-10 in the fifth and final game, which only goes to 15 points instead of 25, the Lady Devils brought in junior Kesley Backus off the bench to serve. With Backus controlling the serve, the Lady Devils scored the next four points to go ahead 14-12. Grand then lost a point and the serve, but on South Sevier’s next serve, the two teams fought a sustained rally, culminating with a spike by sophomore Symony Call to give the Lady Devils a 15-13 win in the fifth and deciding game.

With the win, Grand finished the season with a 6-4 region record. The Lady Devils finished third in the region, behind unbeaten San Juan, which finished 10-0 in region play, and second-place Emery, which finished 7-3 in the region. Emery’s only losses came against the San Juan Lady Broncos (twice) and against the Grand County Lady Devils on Oct. 16.

“I’m excited about the state tourney,” coach Hren said. “This team has grown so much since the beginning of the season. We have made little adjustments after each contest, and the team has put what they’ve learned to use.”

On Friday, Nov. 1, the Lady Devils are scheduled to play their first match at the state tournament at Utah Valley University in Orem. In its first contest, Grand will take on Waterford, the Region 14 No. 2 seed, at 3:30 p.m.

Coach Hren said she is optimistic about the team’s prospects at state.

“I really believe we are peaking at the right time, and if we stay focused on our game plan, we will be successful,” Hren said.

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