|McKensie Bentley pushes the ball over a Snow Canyon blocker during what turned out to be Carbon's only loss at the tournament.|
It was what the Carbon volleyball team had fought hard for all season.
It was a trip to the state volleyball tournament.
Given little respect in the polls this season, the Dinos plugged away with a fairly young squad of girls to go into the tournament as a second seed from Region 8.
Their nemesis this year had been undefeated North Sanpete. With Carbon in the lower bracket and North Sanpete in the upper, the Dinos would not have to face them early, if at all.
But when all was said and done, Carbon walked away with 5th place, the so-called consolation championship, and North Sanpete did not place at all.
Coach Bruce Bean knew that going back to the championship game was a long shot for this team, that has been in a rebuilding year. In fact he wasn't even sure that they would make the playoffs before the year began. But the team played well all year and had both talent and a great work ethic.
Thus they found themselves in contention.
|The team watches the scoreboard as the final points are added for the consolation championship win.|
In the first match of the tournament at Utah Valley State College's Mackay Center, the Dinos were matched up with number three seeded Logan from Region 11. The Lady Dinos came out to play and took the match in three games. All three contests saw the team playing solid fundamentals and good volleyball.
The Dinos then moved on to play the eventual 3A champions, Snow Canyon on Friday afternoon.
Bean knew this would be a difficult game; the team from Washington County had a height and power advantage over his squad. He told the girls they needed to come out hard and not play tentative if they were to overcome the opposition.
But Snow Canyon would get the upper hand in the match by quickly taking game one. Game two had the Dinos beginning to make some adjustments, but it was not enough. Even though each game saw Carbon playing better against their opponents, they lost in three straight.
"It was a tough break for us to meet up with Snow so early in the tournament," Bean said. "They have a great team and I think we got beat by the team that will probably take it all."
He also observed that he thought it was the first time in about eight years that a region eight team would not be in the play-off game.
Play resumed Saturday for Carbon at 11:30 a.m. By the time they took the court to play Grantsville, the girls from Carbon had seen North Sanpete ushered out of the tournament after being beaten in three by Hurricane.
Carbon's match up with Grantsville was a tough one. It was made more difficult for both teams because the match between perrenial power Morgan and up and coming Snow Canyon was taking place in the court right next to them. Both teams had a huge following and the noise was so deafening that the coaches were barely able to communicate to their teams and the girls on the court were having a tough time hearing each other.
But both teams had the same disadvantage to overcome so it would be which one was able to make the adjustments that would win the match.
The Dinos had bounced back from every defeat they had suffered during the season with a strong win the next time and the tournament was just more of the same.
The Dinos got back to their game and downed Grantsville in three decisive contests. With no break in the action, they watched Snow Canyon finish defeating the Lady Trojans and then turned their own sights to their final match up.
Hurricane had sat for a while after their defeat of North Sanpete and it showed. They were not able to get any serves in for four rotations before putting some points on the board.
The Lady Dinos were fresh off their win and kept the momentum going. It didn't take long before they knew the win was theirs for the taking. They triumphed in all three games against Grantsville.
Only Snow Canyon, Dixie, Morgan and Bear River finished better. Those teams were ranked all season.
As Bean headed off court to meet up with his team for a quick celebration he paused to talk about his squad.
"The girls played the best volleyball of the season (at this tournament). We got beat by the best, and then they got right back into playing great ball. I'm proud of them all!"