High school volleyball: Skyridge stays undefeated after a narrow victory over Pleasant Grove

The Skyridge Falcons used a late-game rally to ward off the Pleasant Grove Vikings to win 3-2 and keep their season record perfect.

It’s been a battle at the top of Region 3, with the region being one of the most top-heavy in the state thanks to Skyridge, Pleasant Grove and Lone Peak.

The Vikings were swept 3-0 by the Falcons in their match earlier this season, but this time they had Skyridge on the brink of its first loss.

While the Falcons took the first set, Pleasant Grove swiftly stole the momentum after it took a confident 2-1 lead with a 25-18 second set win and a 25-13 third set win. It was the first time Skyridge dropped a single set in region play.

“We haven’t been tested really hard,” said Skyridge head coach Silver Fonua. “I think once we got down, it was hard for us to get out mentally. I just think not losing a match yet hurts. It hurts us because we haven’t learned how to dig out of that yet.”

“I think it hit us in that in that third set, it’s like, ‘Okay, now we’re down, how do we feel about it? We don’t know how that feels just yet.’ I thought we did a good job of coming back. We just needed to find it and then we had to learn how to get through it.”

The Falcons picked themselves up, and found ways to get their energy up and take the fourth set 25-19. Skyridge’s Taylah Kaufusi had back-to-back kills to secure the fourth-set win.

The Falcons took a slim 11-10 lead as the Vikings took the final timeout. Out of the timeout Kaufusi had three kills to lift her team to a 15-12 victory.

“Kaufusi is what we call the bruiser hitter,” said Fonua. “Every team needs to have a player that, regardless of the block, is going to hit through it and she’s been that player for us all year.”

“She didn’t play the first few games, but she’s played these last couple of games, so she’s actually done that a few times. But like I said, she is a powerful hitter, she comes through when we need her, and she did it today.”

Kaufusi had six kills in the fifth set and provided a much-needed lift for Skyridge.

“We knew we just needed more energy to win,” said Kaufusi. “We drive off our energy, that’s when we play our best. I think we were intimidated by their energy because they’re such a high-energy team. We needed our energy back in. I knew that I could get all my teammates together and just get our energy back.”

“I feel like I was super aggressive, I just knew where I could put the ball down and that if I got the chance to have the ball, I was going to put it away.”

“I have to trust my teammates to get a good pass and to get a good set so I can put it away. I want my teammates to know that they can trust me and that gives me confidence.”

The win keeps Skyridge undefeated, touting a record of 18-0, and at the top of Region 3. Fonua hopes the undefeated record doesn’t hold his team back.

“I don’t want to be undefeated. I certainly don’t want to lose, but there’s something you learn a lot easier when you lose,” said Fonua. “I think it’s great that we’re undefeated, but it worries me a little bit because, like we saw, we struggled today, and we have to figure out how to get out of it.”

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