The Mountain View volleyball team didn’t make the state tournament in 2018 and started the 2019 campaign with one proven commodity — senior Mia Wesley — and a lot of unknowns.
The Bruins finished the season as state champions.
Wesley and her teammates — a combination of seniors and precocious freshmen — came up big in Saturday’s 3-1 (25-23, 14-25, 25-21, 25-14) win against top seed Farmington in the 5A state title match at the UCCU Center in Orem. It was Mountain View’s first state volleyball title since 1982.
“They (the freshmen) had been in big tournaments before,” Mountain View coach Jaicee Roden said. “They pulled through, for sure. They were ready. We train hard, and they were ready to play.”
Asked if she could convey what emotions she was feeling, Roden said, “In appropriate language? No. I’m excited for my girls. They’ve work hard, as did Farmington. But it’s been 37 years since Mountain View won a state volleyball title so this is huge for us.”
A trio of freshmen — setter Kaylin Scott, libero Brielle Miller and middle hitter Mia Lee — were solid in support of Wesley, who led the Bruins with 15 kills and senior Sami Suguturaga, who added 14.
Wesley, who will play volleyball at the University of Portland next season, was actually sick on Friday and according to Roden spent the night throwing up. She played like she was the picture of health on Saturday in her farewell performance in a Mountain View uniform.
“We played with a lot of heart,” Wesley said. “Our big thing is family. We played with lot of chemistry. These freshmen, they came in and acted like seniors. They give their all and they love the game of volleyball.”
Elena Wallace had a kill and teamed up with Tiana Riley for a block to close out Set 1 at 25-23 for Mountain View, but Farmington took advantage of a rash of Bruin errors to win Set 2 25-14.
“We lost that second set pretty bad,” Wesley said. “We all just looked at each other and said, ‘We’re a family. We know what to do and how to fix this.’ We came out, played with heart and finished the game.”
Two aces from Wallace helped Mountain View to a 12-7 lead in the third set. A kill from Suguturaga and an ace from Wesley gave the Bruins a 25-21 win and a two sets to one led in the match.
Mountain View left no doubt and dominated Set 4. Back-to-back aces from Miller allowed the Bruins to shoot out to a 7-2 lead and later, Wesley pounded down three straight kills for a 15-8 advantage. Scott fired back-to-back aces to push the Mountain View lead to 22-13, and the Bruin Crazies started the “We believe that we will win!” chant. At match point, Wallace (11 kills) put down the final point to start the celebration for real for Mountain View.
“We were ready,” Scott said. “We kept repeating to ourselves, ‘We’re ready, we’re ready, we’re ready.’ It was fun. We were confident and we played as a family.”
The Bruins avenged an earlier loss to Farmington in a preseason tournament.
“I like that we focused on us,” Roden said. “I liked that we focused on one ball at a time. I liked that we came together and played as a family. They were about the ‘We’ not the individual. I liked so much about what we did. They really just did a great job.”
Farmington, a second-year school, finished the season with a record of 28-2.
Class 5A roundup
No. 2 seed Mountain View and No. 6 Lehi split a pair of Region 7 matches during the regular season but the semifinals was all Bruins, who earned a 25-18, 25-16, 25-23 win. Top seed Farmington powered past No. 4 Salem Hills with a 25-22, 25-14, 25-22 sweep in the other semifinal.
Lehi slipped past Salem Hills 3-1 (25-27, 25-17, 25-14, 30-28) in the 5A third-place match. A tight fourth set was tied at 28 when Amelia Gibson served an ace for a 29-28 Pioneers lead. A Salem Hills hitting error ended the match and secured the third place trophy for Lehi.
“It can be easy when you’re tired not be disciplined,” Pioneers coach Tambre Nobles said. “I thought at the end of the game we made some really good adjustments defensively and got some good touches. I’m really proud of them. They very easily could have let that last match (the semifinal loss) carry into this one. Sometimes you have to learn hard lessons. Everything happens for a reason. It’s just part of their journey.”
Both teams will likely be big-time contenders next season. Lehi’s top three hitters — sophomore Avery Shewell, junior Haylee Holker and sophomore Millie Gibson — all return next year. Salem Hills also returns its top three hitters — junior Ryen Bradshaw, sophomore Taylor Snow and freshman Tessa Treanor — as well as sophomore setter Brinley Hardy.
“It takes lot of practice and mental toughness to be able to come in here and perform under pressure,” Nobles said. “I think they will learn from that this year and hopefully we can make a good run next year.”
No. 3 seed Timpview, which won the Region 7 title ahead of Mountain View and Lehi, finished in fifth place with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-17. 25-22) win against No. 5 Park City on Friday.