Pleasant Grove is off to a dominating start at the Wasatch Volleyball Festival as the Vikings hope to repeat as Festival champions.
Pleasant Grove pummeled Provo in its first match 25-5, 25-4 then swept Snow Canyon 25-5, 25-11. The Vikings completed their day with a sweep of San Juan. Pleasant Grove head Allyce Jones was pleased with the results of Day 1.
“We only made one error that first set (against Snow Canyon) which is something we’ve been working on, decreasing the error-to-earned-point ratio, said Jones.
One of the challenges both Pleasant Grove and Skyridge face is keeping their quality of play to a high level while facing the logistics of running such a large event.
“I was pleased the way we came in and we were crisp. We played well,” Jones added.
The Vikings got sparkling play from the likes of setter Bryton Bishop, hitters Mia Peterson and Abbie Miller and middle blocker Heather Hamson.
For the fourth straight year, Skyridge head volleyball coach Deanna Meyer will be the tournament director for the Wasatch Volleyball Festival. She, and Jones, have worked together to host the tournament at their respective schools, which brings together 36 total programs from three different states.
“It’s really going to be a great weekend of competition,” stated Meyer, who like the Vikings saw her team, the Skyridge Falcons, get off to a good start at the tourney.
Skyridge defeated Hurricane 25-13, 25-16 to open up tournament play and then swept Juab 25-21, 25-9 but was outdone by county rival Salem Hills which defeated the host team 25-21, 25-19, 15-9. The Skyhawks went undefeated on the first day as did Timpview.
Teams were divided Friday into nine pools of four teams. After pool play, there will be crossover games this Saturday morning between teams from each pool. After those crossover games, the field will be further divided into the gold, silver, bronze and challenger brackets giving schools a chance to compete against teams comparable in ability. The top teams from each pool today still have a chance to earn their way into the gold bracket.
The tournament features some heavyweight programs such as Lone Peak, the returning 6A champions, who went 3-0 on Day 1, as well as Morgan, the returning 3A state champions. Then there are the 5A, 4A and 3A state finalists with Springville, Park City and San Juan respectively. Other top teams include Corner Canyon, Skyline, Syracuse and West.
But besides these top Beehive State teams, the tournament will feature Bonneville, a state finalist team from Idaho, Kuna, fourth place in its classification in Idaho, and two top programs from Nevada (Centennial and Durango). Winning, or placing high in this tournament, bodes well for teams as they head into the final stretches of their regular season. In 2019, Pleasant Grove topped Skyridge for the festival title and the Vikings went on to place second in 6A, while the Falcons nailed down the 5A title.
The Gold Bracket competition (top nine teams) will be held at Skyridge with the championship match at 5:30 p.m. The Silver Bracket (teams ranked 10-19) will also be held at Skyridge while Pleasant Grove will host the Bronze (teams ranked 20-28) and Challenger (teams ranked 29-36) brackets. Volleyball action will commence at 9 a.m. at both schools this morning.