The Century Diamondback Volleyball team stunned the field at the prestigious Rocky Mountain Champions Classic in Highland, Utah this weekend. They defeated 5 teams from Utah and also Bonneville HS of Idaho. Among their victories was a tight 2-1 win over Lone Peak High School, a nationally ranked high school team picked to win Utah's 5A State Championship this year. Handing Lone Peak High School their first loss of the season was a highlight for the Diamondbacks.
"That team is loaded. There are only 2 kids on their roster under 6 feet tall. The fact that our Diamondback defense was able to withstand their attack is something to be proud of for sure," said Head Coach Pauline Thiros.
The Diamondbacks fell to another 5A powerhouse, Pleasant Grove, by just 2 points in the tie breaker set. While the team's motto is "NOBODY TRAINS TO BE RUNNER UP", they feel this 2nd place is one to be proud of and consider it the ultimate training ground if they are to reach the State Tournament and afford themselves the opportunity to defend their 4A Idaho State Volleyball Championship.
The Diamondbacks defeated Timpview 2-0 (2012 4A Champs, Utah), Desert Hills 2-1 (Utah), Bonneville 2-0 (Idaho), Dixie 2-0 (Utah), Northridge 2-1 (Utah) and Lone Peak High School 2-1 (Utah). They fell to Davis 1-2 (2012 5A Champs, Utah) and Pleasant Grove 1-2 (Utah) in the Championship.
Kayla Ellis lead the Diamondbacks with 100 kills on the weekend, while Ann Clappier added 88 and Jennie Murillo and Henny Hearn chipped in 30. Clappier had and extraordinary 32 blocks for the tournament and Sami Parris had 175 assists and 19 blocks. The Diamondback defense was lead by libero Jacqueline Cuttlers with 79 digs, followed by Kayla Ellis with 72 and Jennie Murillo with 59.
The tournament was a grueling test. After an extraordinarily close match with the reigning Utah 5A State Champs, Davis, which went first to 28 points then to 32 in the second match, the Diamondbacks went directly into likewise tough matches vs. Northridge, Lone Peak and finally Pleasant Grove. All of these matches were played back to back with no rest, and each one was packed with long competitive rallies.
"I don't know where the girls drew the strength, but they showed their heart. They have a strong will to win, and they are tournament tested," Coach Thiros said. "I think they thrive under pressure and that was evident this weekend."
In the end, the Diamondbacks fell just short of their first Rocky Mountain Championship.
"We were just 2 points short of winning the thing," said Thiros. "It's hard not to be excited about the way we competed, however, I think in this case we are proud to be runner up. It's a great measuring stick, now we need to keep getting better. After this weekend it's clear we can play at a high level. From this point on our goal is to sustain that intensity and further elevate our level of play. We need to develop a more productive and diverse offense to match the level of defense which has become our trademark. I believe we are up to the challenge. I could not be more proud and appreciative of the effort put forth by these young women this weekend."
The Diamondbacks are now 18-2 on the season.