By Nathaniel Smith • The Times-Independent
Grand County High School’s volleyball team notched another home win against Monticello on Thursday, Sept. 6. The Red Devils won in three close sets against the Buckaroos.
Grand got off to a good start as sophomore setter Jaci Shumway assisted sophomore Jessica Jones on three kills to put the Red Devils up 3-1. Monticello fought back to take a 4-6 lead. Senior Corteney Noyes, sophomore Morgan Lewis and Jaci Shumway all recorded kills while freshman Kiera Shumway added an ace to put Grand back on top 8-7. Back-to-back blocks from Noyes helped keep Grand ahead. Noyes smashed in a kill, and then sophomore Grace Johnston scored an ace to put the Red Devils up 17-14 and caused Monticello to call a timeout. The Buckaroos stormed out of the break and went on a four-point run to reclaim the lead, but Noyes and Jaci Shumway each scored a kill to give the advantage back to Grand. The set was tied at 22 when Jones knocked in a kill and sophomore Kendyll Cox followed with an ace. The Buckaroos answered with a tip score, but their next flew out of bounds to give the Red Devils the opening set.
Despite good kills from Noyes and Jones, Monticello took an early lead in the second set, going up 4-8. Kills from Lewis and Noyes plus a pair of aces from Johnston helped Grand erase the deficit and go up 11-9. The teams traded a few points before the Red Devils went on a tear. Jaci Shumway recorded four aces and senior Kay Watson added a kill and a block to put the Red Devils comfortably ahead 24-13. Monticello answered with a couple of scores, but then a Buckaroo serve sailed out, giving the set to Grand by a 10-point margin.
The third set remained close throughout, with neither team able to build much of a lead. Monticello was ahead by one, 5-6, when Noyes tied the score with her second kill of the set and sophomore Kaci McKinney followed with an ace to give Grand the lead. Two kills from Jones, a block from Lewis and a kill by Noyes balanced out with a few good plays by Monticello to keep the Red Devils ahead by a single score. Jones then nailed three consecutive aces and forced the Buckaroos to call a timeout to rethink their strategy. After the break, Grand kept up the pressure as Lewis and Watson each scored kills to put Grand up 18-12. Jaci Shumway scored by faking a set and tipping the ball over the net and Kiera Shumway added an ace, but Monticello rallied to narrow the margin to 21-19. A kill from Jaci Shumway combined with two more from Jones to bring Grand within one point of victory. But Monticello wasn’t ready to give up, scoring three straight points to take a 24-25 lead. Sets must be won by at least two points, so the tight match continued. The Buckaroos were called on a double hit to tie the set and then Jones blocked a hit to give the advantage back to the Red Devils. Monticello called a timeout, but it did little good as Jaci Shumway came out and drilled home an ace to finish the set and the game.
After the home win, the volleyball team traveled north for games against Manti and North Sanpete. On Friday, Sept. 7, the Red Devils dominated the Manti Templars in three straight sets, 25-17, 25-13, and 25-13. The next day, Grand faced the North Sanpete Hawks and lost in close games that went to five sets. The Hawks claimed the first set 18-25, but the Red Devils rallied to win the next two 25-22 and 25-16. North Sanpete edged out Grand in the fourth set, winning 23-25 and then took the final set 11-15.
Following the weekend trip, the volleyball team has a record of 4-3. On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the team played its homecoming game against rival San Juan at 6:30 p.m. Details will be in next week’s edition of The Times-Independent.