In the last week before tournament play, the Lehi High School volleyball team defeated Timpanogos 3-1 on Oct. 27 and lost at Mountain View 3-2 on Oct. 28. The Pioneers had to compete in these matches without key players Avery Shewell and Divine Faleao.
“We had to improvise a little bit without Avery and Divine, but we had several players step up and give great efforts,” said Head Coach Kolton Rader.
The coach specifically mentioned junior outside hitter Ajah Rajvong, senior outside hitter Ashlin Willes and senior middle blocker Ashlin Burton coming into the Timpanogos game and putting the Pioneers over the top.
Lehi took the first two sets against Timpanogos 25-19 and 25-22. The Timberwolves came back to win the third set 25-12, but they couldn’t keep it up and lost the fourth set to the Pioneers 25-22.
Senior outside hitter Haylee Holker led the team in kills with 18 with Rajvong close behind with 15 kills. Rajvong also contributed five ace serves and 23 digs. Junior libero Bailee Holland added 37 digs and 32 serve-receptions. Senior setter Macey Faddis had 17 assists against the Timberwolves.
The squad then traveled to Orem to play the Bruins. The teams traded set wins with Mountain View taking the first game 25-18. The Pioneers came back to win the second set 25-23 but faltered in the third set with a score of 12-25.
Lehi battled hard to win the fourth game 25-21, but they couldn’t keep the streak alive in the fifth and final set, losing to the Bruins 15-12.
Several Pioneers got to display their skills in the absence of the two heavy hitters. Junior outside hitter Ajah Rajvong once again stepped up and contributed 15 kills, 49 serve-receptions and 12 digs. Holland added 38 serve-receptions and 25 digs.
Junior setter Ellee Moore had 19 assists and junior opposite hitter Savannah Bedier and freshman libero Kodi Brems came off the bench for six digs each.
“Mountain View is a good team. It came down to a few minor errors in the last set, but it was a great game,” said Rader. “They came out on top this time, but I think we could beat them if we met them again.”
The tournament started on Nov. 3 with Lehi squaring off against Provo at home. Results were unavailable at press time, but the Pioneers will continue to play every day as long as they keep winning through the finals on Nov. 7.