|Carbon's Megan Garvin goes up for a block during the game against Snow Canyon at the 3A state tournament that was held at Utah Valley State College last week.|
Double elimination tournaments can be a funny thing. Sometimes losers can come back to win a lot, and sometimes championship contenders get slighted.
In the case of Carbon, a loss to Snow Canyon on Thursday evening in a five set match, set the stage for Carbon to be able to attain at the highest fifth place at the state tournament. And ultimately, that same Snow Canyon team ended up in fourth place, while having two losses as compared to Carbon's one in the competition.
"Yeah, you wake up on Friday morning and realize that the best you can do is fifth and you kind of wonder," said Carbon coach Bruce Bean on Monday morning. "But feeling that way is actually a compliment to our program. For instance our girls kept getting the format for the state volleyball tournament mixed up with the state basketball tournament. They all thought it was three days long. That's because we have been to these tournaments so much over the past few years, we get mixed up about the format."
But fifth place in this tournament is nothing to be ashamed about.
"Remember a few years ago when everyone was so excited about taking fifth place that one year," stated Bean. "It shows how good our program has become."
First of all, Morgan, which has dominated 3A volleyball much of the last decade, was definitely a cut above everyone else in the tournament. Secondly, all of the teams in the next four places were great teams that could have beaten each other on any random day.
And many of the teams that ended up placing below Carbon were also very good like Hurricane, Uintah and Emery.
Carbon came into the tournament as the second place team from Region 8, and unusual spot for them after years of being the first seed. Their first match was against Union on Thursday morning.
They dispatched the Lady Cougars from Roosevelt in three games (25-18, 25-17, 25-10) and it looked like they might once again be headed for a showdown with Morgan.
But in the evening game, Snow Canyon, an athletic and tall team, set the pace with a first set that blistered the Carbon defense and set the Lady Dinos back on their heels a little. The Lady Warriors took it 25-21. At that point Snow Canyon's undefeated record in region play (8-0) looked like a pretty big wall to get over.
However, Carbon took the second game 25-18 with pugnacious play from the starting six. Then, with a loud Snow Canyon crowd chanting hoping the pressure would deter the Lady Dinos, the team took a 2-1 lead in the match as they won the next game 25-20.
It looked good for the Carbon kids, but in game four things got a little sticky. Carbon took a good lead, but then Snow Canyon shut down the Lady Dino offense and riddled off points left and right taking the set 25-15.
"I think the pressure got to us a little," said Bean. "We played good at times in that game, but then there were places where we didn't. Volleyball is like that. When the wheels start to come off it is hard to get them back on."
That set up the final fifth and short game, in which the team that reached 15 points first wins.
|Carbon's Danielle Martino (21), Meesha Rasmussen (22), Brooke Herrick (8) and Jamie King (13) celebrate after one of the games they won against Snow Canyon.|
Snow Canyon won the race, by blasting off from the beginning. No matter what Carbon seemed to do they couldn't get back into it, and they lost 15-12.
Snow Canyon went on to the semifinals on Friday where they lost first to Bear River and then were then taken apart by Carbon's rivals North Sanpete, which placed third at state.
Carbon's Friday found them pitted against one of the overall tallest teams in the tournament.
Uintah had knocked Emery out of the tournament on Thursday night with three straight whippings, so Carbon had their work cut out for them.
Carbon won the two matches with a 27-25 squeaker, and then a 25-18 clobbering.
It looked good for the Lady Dinos but then the Lady Utes came back and won the next game in another close one 27-25.
Would the Lady Dinos be haunted by the Snow Canyon game the day before, where they had a good lead, and lost it?
No, they wouldn't. They came back in a fourth game and sent Uintah packing with a 25-18 victory which assured the Lady Dinos a place at the state finishers table.
Final state 3A volleyball|
2. Bear River
3. North Sanpete
4. Snow Canyon
6. Pine View
That place was set that afternoon as Carbon took on Hurricane, a team with one of the best players in the state. It looked to be a long battle.
But, the Carbon kids were ready for the Lady Tigers, crossing them up at every turn and taking the match in three games, 25-19, 25-13, 25-20.
"You know when you think about it, only a few point separated us from that championship game," said Bean. "I don't think anyone in the tournament could have beaten Morgan this year. But I was pleased about our girls battling back on Friday. They could have just called it a day, but didn't."
Bean pointed out the size of the teams his squad was facing this year. Carbon's tallest player (Jamie King) is 5'11". Many of the teams they played had two or three players that were 6'1" or taller. One team in the tournament (Tooele) had a player that is 6'5".
"Our girls deserve a lot of credit for what they accomplished," he said. "They have to work just that much harder to cope with the taller teams."
Carbon has one of the most successful volleyball programs in the state. In the last five years they have had a state champion, two second place finishes and two fifth places. A compliment to hard work and good coaching.
And, of course, the best part of it is that there is always a next year.