South Summit wraps up regular season with sweep over Ogden
The Wildcats end the season with an 18-9 record
A month ago, South Summit volleyball coach Dallas Gines reached her breaking point with her team after a five-set loss at home to Layton Christian Academy that dropped the Wildcats to a 9-6 record after four losses in their last six matches.
A lot can change in a matter of weeks. Gines and her team celebrated a 25-12, 25-22, 25-22 sweep over Ogden on Tuesday night to secure a second-place finish in Region 13, capping a hot stretch that saw South Summit win nine of its last 12 regular-season matches. South Summit had a “come to Jesus” meeting of sorts to help get the team back on its feet, and the Wildcats’ only loss to a region opponent in that span was to first-place Morgan. The energy in South Summit’s gym was infectious all night long, and it appeared as if the Wildcats were focused on just two things: winning and having fun.
“We actually had to do some classwork, to be honest with you, we had to leave the volleyball court and do some classwork,” Gines said. “As far as just talking about vulnerability, talking about being real and raw, talking about what that means, what that looks like. Sometimes, I have kids that want to be too adult instead of just being a kid. So we had to release some of that and talk about it.”
The Wildcats pounced on the Tigers early, scoring seven of the first nine points of the first set. A pair of kills from senior Brooke Flygare and an ace from sophomore Devree Gines fueled a run of six unanswered points as the Wildcats took a commanding 14-5 lead. South Summit cruised through the remainder of the set, and an Ogden attack error brought the set to a merciful end at 25-12.
An 8-2 run for the Wildcats in the early stages of the second frame gave them an 8-4 lead, but Ogden hung around. The Tigers took a 19-15 lead as their offense heated up and South Summit’s mistakes piled up.
But the Wildcats turned the tide, scoring 10 of the next 13 points to come from behind and take the pivotal second set. A thunderous block from freshman Emma Broadbent on set point reverberated around the gym and kept the Wildcats’ energy high. South Summit earned three aces during the run and peppered Ogden with kills to complete the comeback.
“They’re fighters, and we work a lot on serving,” Dallas Gines said. “Serving and passing wins ballgames, and that’s what we spend a lot of our time (on). And that’s what ended up bringing us back in the ballgame was our serving and passing, ultimately.”
The third and final set was a slugfest from the start, as the teams spent most of the frame either tied or separated by just a couple of points. Trailing 18-16, the Wildcats scored seven of the next eight points to help put Ogden away. Devree Gines sealed the sweep with a dump over the net that threw Ogden’s blockers just enough to score on match point.
The Class 3A state playoffs are scheduled to begin on Saturday, but South Summit earned itself a first-round bye as the fifth seed. The Wildcats will play the winner of No. 12 Judge Memorial and No. 21 American Leadership Academy on Oct. 27 at Utah Valley University. With South Summit playing some of its best volleyball of the season, hopes are high.
“Loved it, like I said, the energy’s high, they’re enjoying the game, they wanted to be there,” Gines said. “You know when you play not to lose instead of play to win? It’s different, they’ve been playing to win.”
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