Due to some quirks in the schedule, the Timpview volleyball team had played just two matches so far this season.
On Tuesday in Orem, Timpview swept the Tigers 25-19, 25-10, 25-15 to move to 2-0 in Region 7 play and announced loud and clear it will be one of the teams to beat in Class 5A this year.
“Waiting for the matches was so hard, oh, my gosh,” T-Bird senior Tricia Tua’one said. “We were just practicing and not getting game reps. We were playing against the same people. But once we got into the game, we were so excited to play. We were getting new competition against new players and we were able to show off what we have.”
What the T-Birds have is a good mixture of young talent and experienced seniors, developed, according to head coach Charmay Lee, during that time waiting for matches to begin.
“Practice is where you get better,” Lee said. “In matches you can only play a certain amount of people on the court. We had lots of solid practice reps to be able to work on our offense and our defense. We couldn’t do that if we were playing a lot of matches.”
The T-Birds were invited to the Durango Classic, a prestigious preseason volleyball tournament in Las Vegas. The tournament was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Timpview does have a couple of tournaments scheduled for later in September.
“I really don’t like tournaments in the beginning of the season,” Lee said. “I like them more in the middle or end of the season so we can see what we look like and get ready for state.”
The T-Birds looked in mid-season form against Orem, which came into the match with a 6-2 record.
Timpview pulled away late to win Set 1 25-19 and somewhere in Set 2 simply broke the Tigers will. Sophomore setter Silina Damuni got the game winner by killing an overpass for a 25-10 victory and the T-Birds raced to an 11-1 lead in Set 3 after Tua’one smashed back-to-back aces. Orem bit into that lead with some a strong serving game but Taliah Lee put the game winner off the block for a 25-15 win and the match.
Damuni has plenty of weapons to choose from, including fellow sophomore Lee, seniors Tua’one and Kesa Makasini and junior Brielle Rueckert.
“I feel like those girls as a whole are super talented,” Charmay Lee said. “When I scout other teams I see one, two or three amazing players, but we try to make all seven of our starters as talented as any other player in the state. I feel like our girls will do a good job competing in 5A this year. We came up a little bit short last year even though we were 11-1 and region champs. We’re hungry this year.”
Tua’one said the personal connection among her teammates gives Timpview and advantage.
“We know how to talk to each other,” she said. “We know how to pick each other up when we’re feeling down or when to put someone in their place when they’re not playing well. Other teams just don’t have the kind of chemistry we have. We pick on that and that’s our strong suit this year.”
Timpview will host Alta on Thursday while Orem’s match against Mountain View has been postponed because the Bruins are in a quarantine situation.