GCHS volleyball team finish 7th out of 19 in state tournament

Chloe Book practices her shot earlier this season. She had a standout performance in the state championship tournament. Photo by Anthony Militano

The Grand County varsity volleyball team broke even with two wins and two losses and landed in seventh place out of 19 schools that participated in the UHSAA State Championship Tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 29 and Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Utah Valley University in Orem.

The Red Devils entered the playoffs in the second round due to their rank and defeated the Delta Rabbits 3-0 in the Tuesday morning match. Grand took the first set 25-17, the second 25-20 and the final set 25-15.

“Chloe Book came in and really played in our match against Delta,” coach Brittney Melton said in a post-tournament interview. “She only got a few touches on the ball, but it was a big win and she had one set and had a kill and a very nice hit and she also went back and served an ace, so that was her claim to fame against Delta.

“She’s been such a huge support for our team,” Melton continued. “Even when she’s not playing, she’s been a big support for our team and she’s so fun to be around.”

Grand lost to the Union Cougars 2-3 in the quarterfinals afternoon match. The Red Devils won the first set 25-21, lost the second 8-25, won the third 25-11, lost the fourth 18-25, and lost the fifth set 14-16.

The loss to Union was particularly discouraging. “It was just a back-and-forth battle,” said Melton. “In the fifth set, at one point we were up 7-0. We were still up 14-6 and our server missed her serve and we turned the ball over. They scored 10 points in a row on us and won the game.”

“Union went on to play in the finals match and win the tournament. Union did the same thing to the defending state champions, Morgan, that they did to us. Union just had a tough team. That was the heartbreaking one. If we had won that game, we would have been in the top four; instead we competed in the fifth and seventh position. I think our girls were deflated from the loss [to Union],” Melton revealed. “Volleyball is a momentum game. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t”

On the morning of Oct. 30 the Red Devils defeated the North Sanpete Hawks 3-1 in the single-loss semifinal. Grand dropped the first set 20-25, but rallied and won three in a row by a score of 25-19, 25-15 and 25-15.

That afternoon, Grand lost the 5th/7th place match 1-3 to the Carbon Dinos. The Lady Devils dropped the first set 17-25, won the second 25-20, lost the third 20-25 and the fourth 10-25.

According to MaxPreps sports statistics, the Red Devils were 20-14 overall for the season and 5-5 in the region. Seniors Chloe Book and Domenique Jones are scheduled to graduate in May.