|Britney Greenwood raises her level of play with 13 kills in the victory over Uintah Wednesday night.|
With a solid core of return starters, the expectations are high that this year's 3A third place team will take it all and end up state champions. The first step along that journey began Aug. 17 up at Skyline with a tournament featuring some of the states strongest teams.
First up was 2A South Summit. The Dinos wasted no time in a three game sweep. They beat them 25-11, 25-20 and 25-20. Megan Garvin racked up 12 kills and Julia Potts ran the offense with 32 set assists.
Rolling right on to 5A Viewmont, the Dinos dropped game one 17-25, but then regrouped to take the set with three straight wins. They won the set with 25-19, 25-19 and 25-16 victories. Ericka Potts had four service aces and Garvin continued to be a force with 19 kills.
Facing another 5A team to finish the day, the Dinos played their hearts out, but came up short as they played a marathon five games in the loss to Viewmont. Viewmont jumped out to a two game lead. The Dinos didn't give up and came back to even up the match with two wins of their own. In the rubber game, Viewmont finished off the Dinos and gave them their first loss. Britney Greenwood and Garvin combined for 26 kills.
On Saturday, the Dinos hit the floor early, but just couldn't seem to wake up in time to avoid a three game sweep by Skyline. Whitney Oliver led the defense without a receiving error in the match. The team did shake off the doldrums in time for a rematch against Viewmont. The Dinos took the first two games with 25-20 and 25-10 wins. They let their opponent back into the match when they lost to them in a close 24-26 defeat. Not wanting to let the match slip away, Carbon buckled down and took game four, 26-24. While Garvin stuffed 25 kills over the net, Ericka Potts and Greenwood combined for 22 as well. Julia Potts dished up 43 of the team's 45 assists.
Finally, the Dinos wrapped up their tournament play with another three game sweep against South Summit. A strong 25-11, 25-13, 25-16 finish was what the team needed to finish off the weekend. A balance attack had all but two players with at least one kill in the match.
Coach Kristen Johnson felt like the overall tournament play was solid. "There were a few moments of lost concentration that showed up in the losses, but that's what these pre-season games are all about." Knowing that the only two losses were to 5A team, and the team was also able to beat them, she felt good about the weekend showing.
What surprised her was the passing game. This is an area that the team usually struggles with. But it was the offense that wasn't as sharp as she would have liked.
"We need to be more aggressive and we will work on that this week," she stated.
The team will head to Park City for a match and then participate in the Mountain Classic Tournament this weekend. Powerhouses Snow Canyon and Highland will be there to put the Dinos to the test.
"This team can go as far as they want to," Johnson stated. "It will depend on how much they want to put into it."