Mountain View endures five-setter to beat Timpview
Mountain View and Timpview had so much fun going to five sets in last season’s Class 5A volleyball championships, the two teams decided to do it again.
Two of the top contenders in 5A produced a classic on Tuesday, showcasing their considerable talents in front of a dialed in crowd in Orem.
In the end, the team that fell just short last year came out on top. Unbeaten Mountain View prevailed 3-2 (13-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-18, 15-13), battling back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to force a final set.
“This was, of all the victories, the most emotional,” Mountain View coach Dave Neeley said. “It’s a region match, it’s a repeat of the state championship, it’s a bunch of friends playing against a bunch of friends. The emotions, I think, were a lot different in this one. For any team, in any sport, to bounce back after a really tough start like we did, not everything was perfect but we definitely showed some mental strength.”
The fifth set was filled with huge plays from both teams and tied 10 times. Maliah Lee (17 kills) gave Mountain View a two-point lead, 12-10, on consecutive dynamic swings and the Bruins reached match point, 14-11, on a tandem block from Addison Lloyd and Kelly Wesley.
Timpview wouldn’t go down easily, though, and recovered to close to 14-13. On fourth match point, Lili Suguturaga powered the ball of the T-Birds block for the winner.
“It doesn’t feel real,” Suguturaga said. “For a second there I was really scared. I was like, ‘Wow, they (Timpview) are getting a lot of points.’ But we just kept telling each other to press on the gas and we ended up with the victory.”
Of her final swing, Suguturaga added, “That was crazy. There were a lot of nerves and lot of power to that ball. I just thought that I needed to swing as hard as I can and that’s what I did.”
Neeley said midway through the match he moved Suguturaga (nine kills) to the start of the rotation to take advantage of her serve, the first time she had been in that position.
“She served well,” he said. “The whole team served well and we had 10 aces. Lili went on a lot of runs from the service line and was very controlled. We wanted to be a good serving team tonight and that was the key.”
Timpview (6-2 overall, 3-1 Region 8) came out on fire in Set 1 and routed Mountain View 25-13, shocking the Bruin Crazies that create a raucous atmosphere every match.
“Timpview played a phenomenal set,” Neeley said. “The way I responded was that I got mad, and I never get mad. Timpview came out on the very first play of the second set and crushed a ball for a kill. I don’t know if I’ve ever done this before but I called a time out at 1-0. I said we cannot wait even 30 more seconds to start playing better. From then on we had our best blocking match of the year (11 team blocks). At some point after the 1-0 time out our focus was back.”
Mountain View (8-0, 4-0), the No. 1 team in 5A RPI, battled back in Set 2, making big plays down the stretch. Lucy Perez (17 kills) had a key score to tie the set at 23 and after a Timpview hitting error gave the home team 24-23 lead, Kaylin Scott came through with a clutch ace serve for a 25-23 victory.
The third set was tight as well. Timpview got a kill from Brielle Rueckert and a huge ace from Taliah Lee to fight off set point and take a 25-24 lead. T-Bird freshman McKynzee Beddes went off the block for the winner (26-24).
Mountain View took control in Set 4 and led 12-7. Timpview cut the deficit to 19-16 but the Bruins powered through and regained the momentum, winning 25-18 and forcing a fifth set.
Both teams are headed to the Durango Tournament in Las Vegas this weekend to face some of the nation’s top teams. Lone Peak is seeded No. 5 out of 64 teams, Lone Peak is No. 14 and Timpview is No. 15.
The Bruins are currently ranked No. 28 in the MaxPreps national poll.
“This weekend in Las Vegas we’ll find out how good we are,” Neeley said. “We’ll know more in four or five days and that’s super exciting.”