High school volleyball: Lone Peak defeats Mountain Ridge in 6A finals

Lone Peak continued its dominance in volleyball with a third straight 6A title, as it defeated top-seeded Mountain Ridge 3-1 on Saturday.

The Knights completely controlled the game in the first set. Lone Peak’s lead quickly grew from 6-11 to 8-16, and before anyone could blink, the Knights took the first set 25-10.

Lone Peak’s Zoey Burgess was a commanding force on the net. She hit over and through blocks, and made life difficult for the Mountain Ridge hitters.

“I thought that I did a really good job at establishing my block and shutting down their big hitters,” Burgess said.

“When my team needed me to put the ball away, I was the one they could always count on, and it helped free up everyone else. I just wanted to let everyone know that I had their back.”

Despite losing the first set big, Mountain Ridge made sure to fire back in the following set.

The Sentinels’ Addyson Cook and Ireland McNees started warming up and put some real pressure on the Lone Peak defense. Cook and her teammates were controlling the ball more and putting up stronger blocks and were rewarded with a 25-22 set victory to even things up.

The impressive play continued from the Sentinels, and they found themselves with a 14-10 lead midway through the third set, but Mountain Ridge’s fortune ended abruptly when Burgess was substituted back in for the Knights and immediately made an impact with a sequence of three straight kills.

Burgess’ teammates Greta Brown and Hallie Layton also contributed to the strong offensive push for Lone Peak, which resulted in a 25-22 comeback set win.

In the fourth set, things once again started as poorly as they could for Lone Peak, which dug itself into a 0-7 deficit before head coach Paula Jardine called timeout.

Jardine’s words were heard, and after the timeout, Lone Peak scored 11 straight points to retake the lead 11-7 and went on to finish off Mountain Ridge 25-15.

“I called a timeout, and I asked them ‘Are you done?’ and they said no,” Jardine said. “Then I asked, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and they said yes. They knew what they needed to do, and they just showed up and did it.

“I think that shows a lot of character. Earlier this season we wouldn’t have had that kind of fight or that kind of heart and I’m proud of our girls for turning that around and really digging in and point by point getting it done.”

After starting the season 1-3, Lone Peak surrendered only a single set in postseason play and earned its third straight 6A title.

“We lost our first game of the season to Mountain View. After, we had a talk and I said, ‘Look, we lost the serve and pass game,’ so every day from that first match until now, we have done serve and pass drills for 40 minuets a day at practice and it shows,” Jardine said.

“I think our girls are really amazing servers. They can serve any spot I call. Our passing and ball control really helps us to be able to do our offense. It broke down a little bit, and they just reset and got back into it, and that’s what’s nice about this team. They are able to make those adjustments in the play in the moment. I’m really, really proud of them for that because we worked on that all season long.”

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