The last time Snow Canyon and Pine View met, it almost felt like a changing of the guard.
The Warriors had dominated Region 9 for the better part of the last decade, but PV won in five sets. At the time, the Panthers hadn’t beat SCHS in exactly nine years.
Thursday’s matchup at PVHS was close again, but it was the same result as the Panthers beat Snow Canyon in four sets (25-22, 25-20, 19-25, 25-22).
It was Senior Night at Pine View. Pictures of the six Panther seniors adorned the wall of the gymnasium, and it was the seniors who were instrumental in the victory.
“All these girls, we’ve all grown up together, playing together it’s just so much fun to play with them,” PV senior setter Cassidy Murdock said.
Murdock was the Panthers’ provider, totaling 40 assists. Sixteen of them turned into kills for outside hitter, and fellow senior, Cydnee McGuire.
“I love them all, they’re great kids, they do a really good job and they’ve really come a long way from where we started, so I’m proud of them,” Panthers coach Kelly Murdock said.
PV won a close first set, and the second set was just as tight at times. The Panthers led 12-11, then McGuire sparked an 8-2 run with a couple of big kills. Snow Canyon closed the gap thanks to good blocking up front, but it wasn’t enough for the Warriors.
Kiara Rivas, PV’s libero and another senior, had a team-leading 26 digs Thursday. Keeping with the theme of her season, many of them were stretching, twisting, or awkwardly reaching to save the ball.
“I don’t know, it just comes naturally,” Rivas said. “I’ve just learned to never let the ball hit the ground unless your body hits the ground with it.”
The Warriors jumped out to an early 9-4 third-set lead, then watched as PV tied it 15-15. This time it was Snow Canyon who went on a run, though, taking a 22-17 lead before Raegan Gines’ kill took the match to a fourth set.
Pine View led 11-6 in the fourth set, but Snow Canyon charged back to tie it 19-19 and later took a 21-19 lead when Sammi Johnston’s serve clipped the net and dropped in.
PV closed it out and improved to 6-1 in Region 9 play, two games ahead of third-place Dixie with three games left. Snow Canyon dropped to 3-4 and sits in fourth place, but still two games ahead of Cedar, whom the Warriors have beaten twice this year.
Johnston paced the Warriors with 13 kills and added seven digs. Cami Utley led SCHS with 16 digs and setter Camryn Johnson led the Warriors with 19 assists.
“Our goal isn’t necessarily to improve the top end of our performance, it’s to eliminate the errors, the bottom end of where we perform,” SCHS head coach Ryan Rarick said.
SCHS was without starting senior outside hitter Alexis Dunston, who recently suffered a torn ACL. In her place was freshman Hallie Remund, who totaled 15 digs, five kills and two service aces.
Connect with reporter Patrick Carr on Twitter @PatrickCarr_ and on Facebook at Facebook.com/PatrickJosephCarr1/ or call him at (435) 231-3834.