Carbon High volleyball team takes 6th place at state tournament
Heading into the class 3A State Volleyball Tournament, the Carbon High Lady Dinos knew they were placed in a tough bracket, arguably the toughest of the tournament. And according to head coach Bob Potts, the Lady Dinos decided to push every team they played to the limit.
That idea captured the mindset of each member on the team as Carbon High finished in sixth place in the state at the state tournament held at Utah Valley University in Orem.
"The seniors really came through and the entire team left it all out on the floor," said Potts in an interview Monday afternoon.
After finishing in fourth place in Region 12, Carbon was placed in a bracket opposite Morgan, the top finisher from Region 11. Morgan, the top team going into the tournament, posed a difficult challenge for the Lady Dinos to start off the tournament.
With a deep and experienced lineup led by 6-foot 1-inch senior middle hitter Bailey Farris, the Trojans were one of the favorites to win the 3A championship.
Morgan showed why they were one of 3A's top teams all year as they ran out to a 25-11 first set win.
However, Carbon wasn't about to go down without a fight. In the second set Carbon built up a 10-5 lead as many of the Lady Dinos looked more comfortable out on the court after the first set loss. Carbon continued to lead as they were able to fend off the Trojan attack led by Farris. Carbon pushed it's lead to five again at 16-11 after a kill by senior Amanda Freestone. But the Trojans started to gain momentum and battled back against Carbon to tie the game at 19-19.
Carbon would lead one final time in the set at 20-19 after a Morgan service error, but immeadiately after Farris began to take over the set and the rest of the game. Farris scored four of the Trojans' final five points as they were able to win the set 25-22.
In the third set, Morgan ran away from Carbon on their way to the three-set sweep in the first round of the tournament.
Freestone finished with nine kills and Rachel Scoggins added four more. Senior Shaylie Jones had 12 assists. Junior libero Jennee Martinez led the team with eight kills.
Despite the loss, Potts said the team knew that beating Morgan would be monumental task for the Lady Dinos.
"We wanted to push Morgan and not just give the game away to them," he said.
Morgan would eventually go on to win the class 3A state championship.
With the tournament following the double-elimination, Carbon was moved into the consolation bracket. Their next opponent was Union.
Carbon and Union played a close first set with Carbon taking a 20-19 late in the first set. After a Carbon score to extend the lead to 23-19, the game was delayed for 20 minutes after a water bucket was knocked over near the court.
After the event staff completed the cleanup, Carbon was able to finish off the first set win, 25-20.
In the second set, Scoggins stepped up as she came on strong late in the set with kills and tip shots that kept Union off balance. Carbon was able to finish off the second set win, 25-22.
In the third set, Carbon jumped out to a big lead 23-12 before allowing Union to score a few points before closing out the set 25-17 to complete the three-set sweep.
Freestone finished with 20 kills and Scoggins added 8. Jones finished with 25 assists and Ashley Quinton chipped in 8. Martinez finished with nine digs and Jones added eight more.
Potts said the Carbon High volleyball team typically plays better on the second day of the tournament. Carbon faced off with Judge Memorial and Hurricane on Friday and got off to a quick start as they were able to complete a four-set win against Judge Memorial (25-23, 20-25, 25-13, 26-24).
In that game, Freestone again led the Dinos in kills with 25 and Scoggins added nine more. Jones finished with a team-high 32 kills and led the way with 11 digs. Martinez added 10 digs, Taylor Oliver chipped in eight digs and senior Darian Latimer finished with seven.
In their final game against Hurricane with a sixth-place finish at state on the line, Carbon battled past the Lady Tigers in five sets (25-18, 23-25, 20-25, 25-18, 15-12).
Freestone and Scoggins led Carbon in kills with 19 and 14 kills respectively. Jones led the team in assists with 32 and Quinton added eight for the Lady Dinos. Martinez led the team in digs with 25 and three other Lady Dinos finished in double digits in digs including Oliver (15), Kayleigh Potts (11) and Latimer (10).
While the team would have liked to finish on top at the tournament, Potts said despite the opening round loss to Morgan, the team ended the season on a high note.
"They had a pretty good second day at the tournament," he said. "We wanted to win the rest of our games and I think the team came to the realization that sixth place in state was not a bad way to go out."
Carbon (14-17 overall, 5-5 in Region 12 play) completed a season that had its ups and downs, Potts said. Over the course of the season they had to learn how to come together as a team as the four seniors on the squad (Freestone, Scoggins, Jones and Latimer) helped bring the team closer together to finish strong.
Potts also credited the support the team received during the tournament from the family members, friends, students and the Carbon High cheerleaders who all made the trip up north to see the team compete.
As for the Lady Dinos, the sixth place finish was great end to a season that saw the team start 0-5. And after playing four games in a span of two days against tough competition, the ride back home to Price was a lot quieter than Potts expected.
"Usually the girls are up and talking to each other the entire time," Potts said. "But this time after about 10 minutes on the bus, they all fell asleep pretty quickly."