It was a new day, new venue, and a new result. For the second time in three days, the girls volleyball team from Desert Vista took the court against the Wolves of Desert Mountain.
Only this time, the Thunder sent the Wolves running for cover, defeating Desert Mountain 25-20, 22-25, 25-23 in a 5A non-region match at Desert Mountain Tuesday night.
Though the linescore shows that Desert Mountain (8-7) kept the match close, it was more so a result of the youthful Thunder squad’s inability to slam the door on the Wolves. Desert Vista (9-6) came out firing in Game 1, taking a 14-7 advantage, but a scrappy Wolves team clawed back to within 22-19.
Sophomore Lauren Howard’s two digs off mammoth shots by Desert Mountain star Tara Mueller deflated any chance of the Wolves stealing the first game.
"I was in the right place at the right time," Howard said about her play. "But I’ve played against Tara before in beach volleyball and I think I was ready."
Howard tallied 12 digs and four blocks. Middle blocker Kelsey Thomsen’s performance was just as — if not more —impressive, as she recorded a double-double with 14 kills, 12 digs, four aces and four blocks.
Desert Vista coach Molly West credited her team’s strong defense as the key to keeping the Wolves and the powerful arm of Mueller in check.
"I think our blocking and digging was really important tonight," West said. "I think that’s so deflating when you have a great, big swing and someone digs it or blocks it."
After giving away Game 2 after being up 17-12, the Thunder held their composure to pull out an error-laden Game 3.
Mueller led an unbalanced Wolves offense with 26 kills. Junior Lauren Kemp finished second with eight kills.