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Mid-season south valley volleyball teams stand strong

Oct 05, 2017 03:55PM ● Published by Greg James

Senior outside hitter Sidney Brown and the Riverton Silverwolves are on the rise this season. (Dave Sanderson/dsandersonpics.com)

The mid-season volleyball rankings have two south valley teams headed to a collision course. Their destiny could boil down to their head-to-head matches. 

The Herriman Mustangs have weathered their preseason well. They have only lost a combined five sets in their six matches. Their only loss came at the hands of American Fork 3-0 in their first match of the season. 

A 3-0 victory over Westlake Aug. 22, a traditionally tough Class 6A team, may be a marquee victory for the Mustangs. They beat them in four sets: 25-14, 20-25, 25-18 and 25-14. Junior Jasmine Love had eight kills in the match and served five aces. Junior Morgan Haws recorded 15 assists.

Haws and senior Emily Sanford lead the team on assists. The assists generally come from the team’s setter. In competitive volleyball the setter controls a team’s offense and directs the attack. They must be able to get the ball to the best outside hitters in perfect position consistently. 

The Mustangs have participated in the state volleyball tournament only once in the school’s brief history. In 2012, they defeated Highland in the first round but then lost to Salem and Skyline to exit the tournament.

Herriman was scheduled to open region play Sept. 12 against Taylorsville (after press deadline). It faced cross-town rival Riverton Sept. 14 and again Oct. 12 at Riverton High School.

The Mustangs are coached by Bryan Nicholson.

The rivalry between Herriman and Riverton continues. The Mustangs have never defeated the Silverwolves in a volleyball match. Herriman opened in 2010, and the teams have played every season at least once, except for 2011.

Riverton has swept the Mustangs in five of the team’s 10 head-to-head matches. The closest the Mustangs have come to a victory is 2014 when the lost 3-2. 

The Mustangs and Silverwolves will both compete in the Utah High School Activities Association’s Region 3. They will face Copper Hills, Taylorsville and West Jordan for possible state tournament positions. With realignment the south valley teams no longer compete against Utah County powerhouses such as Lehi and Lone Peak.

Riverton is 3-2 in its preseason matches. In its first match of the season, it defeated Jordan in three sets, 25-17, 25-13 and 25-15. Junior Brianna Averett led the team with 13 kills in the victory.

Averett has collected 60 kills is the team’s 18 sets and leads the team with a 28.2 percent kill average. She also has 14 aces. Senior Kaycee Wartman is second on the team with 13.

Allie Brown, a junior, has picked up seven blocks in the team’s first five matches. She also has 14 kills this season.

The Silverwolves are coached by Diane Struck. 

Riverton began region play Sept. 12 against Copper Hills (after press deadline). It hosts West Jordan for the final regular season match Oct. 24.

The Silverwolves hope to return to the state tournament for the first time since 2015. In 2014 they finished seventh in the state, and in 2015 they were eighth.

The UHSAA state tournament is scheduled for Nov. 2–4 at Utah Valley University. 

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