Richfield High School’s Lady Wildcat volleyball team’s 2019 season concluded with the squad earning bronze via a third place finish at the 3A state championship tournament held at Utah Valley University in Orem, Oct. 29 and 30.
Due to the Lady ’Cats success over the course of regular season play, they went into the tourney ranked third and had a bye in the first round. The Lady ’Cats took the court against Summit Academy’s Lady Bears in the second round of the playoffs. The Lady ’Cats made quick work of the Lady Bears defeating them in three sets – 25-14, 25-14 and 25-17, respectively.
The third round of play was a face off between Lady Wildcats. RHS handily took down sixth ranked South Summit in three sets – 25-15, 25-16 and 25-20, respectively.
The win moved the Lady ’Cats forward into the quarterfinals, where they would battle the first ranked Lady Trojans of Morgan for the first time this season.
The Lady Trojans came out strong and defeated the Lady ’Cats in three tough sets. The first set ended with the Lady Trojans on top 25-17. The second wrapped up 25-19 and the third 25-15.
The loss resulted in the Lady ’Cats playing one more match for third or fourth place.
The Lady ’Cats’ final bout of the state tournament and season pitted them against the only team that beat them twice during league play – the Lady Broncos of San Juan, who were beaten 3-1 by Union earlier in the tourney.
In the first matchup between RHS and San Juan, the Lady Broncos won a barn burner, 3-2, in Richfield, Sept. 13. The second encounter between the two squads was a battle on San Juan’s home court in Blanding, where the Lady Broncos came out on top, 3-1, Oct. 4.
The Lady ’Cats hit the court focused and ready to make a statement – which, they did. From Lady ’Cat Jarica Steck tipping from the right side to a hole on the Lady Broncos’ side of the court for the first point of the match, through Ellie Belnap’s tip from the middle for the final point of the match, the Lady ’Cats led and controlled the game.
The bout consisted of lengthy volleys, strong hitting, great digging, solid blocking, consistent serving, minimal errors and some scrambling, scrappy plays. The energetic and heartfelt play by the Lady ’Cats paid off. The Lady ’Cats beat the Lady Broncos in three sets – 25-16, 25-20 and 25-16, respectively.
Steck led the Lady ’Cat pack with 15 kills, 10 serves, 14 digs and 14 serve receptions. Jordyn Moon served flawlessly 18 times, one of which was an ace for the Lady ’Cats. Moon also had eight kills, two blocks, eight digs and received 18 serves from the Lady Broncos.
Sipola Vakautakakala knocked down 10 kills, Belnap had seven and Hadyn Black had four. Passion Reitz served 15 times, two of which were aces. In addition, Reitz dug up 13 balls and received 12 serves without error. Allison Lord served 12 times for the Lady ’Cats, had seven digs and 42 assists as the setter during the matchup.
The Lady ’Cats bid adieu to five senior players – Hatch, Moon, Reitz, Steck and Sisilia. The torch moves to seven juniors that will return as seasoned seniors next year.