by Daniel Gilberg
On Thursday, September 9, Kanab opened region play by hosting new region member South Sevier. Long time region opponent Millard is no longer a part of what is now known as region 19. South Sevier and San Juan have dropped from 3A to 2A and are in the newly formed region with Kanab.
Kanab opened play with solid wins in both the Frosh and JV games again. Both teams won again Friday, in Valley, to push both of their records to 5-0 thus far this season.
In the varsity match-up, Kanab jumped all over South Sevier with aggressive serving and would open up a 10-2 lead early. South Sevier settled in and battled back to eventually tie the set at 15-15. It would go back and forth but the Rams were able to prevail 25-23 and carry that momentum into a terrific second set cruising 25-12. The Rams were imposing their will with their strong hitting and blocking.
Team Captain Grayce Glover encouraged the team between sets to play volleyball the Kanab way with more fight and effort. The third set looked similar to the first two, but midway through with Kanab down 17-10, a switch flipped and Kanab took control in every aspect of the game. They would fight to win the set in a close one 25-22.
In the next two sets, Kanab was in no mood to be denied, winning the fourth 25-17 and the deciding fifth 15-7. The Lady Cowboys showed tremendous resilience to fight their way back into the game and pull out the victory. Rarely do teams win when they are down 2-0 in a game.
Coach Andrea Gilberg was proud of the way the girls fought back and the determination they showed. This team has great leaders who do whatever it takes to win. Kanab’s big bombers Madi Orton and Abbey Bateman, led in a huge way on attack. Both players had season highs in kills with Orton’s 21, hitting a .259 on 58 swings and Bateman’s 14, hitting a .195 on 41 swings.
Glover may have had a career high with 49 assists in the game earning herself player of the match.
Defensively, the girls were busy with London Fenus, Ashlyn Houston and Emilie Gilberg all finishing with more than 20 digs. Hadley Barnson and Bateman were protecting the net well, with a combined seven blocks.
After an emotional home win, Kanab headed to Valley on Friday, for their annual game. Kanab jumped on Valley early 9-2 in the first set, but unlike the night before they would not relinquish the lead, winning 25-15. The second set, Kanab again would come out on top 25-17. The final deciding set was a close one with Kanab winning 25-23.
Valley always has tough serving and defense, which really puts the pressure on. Kanab also had a strong service game by connecting on 95 percent of their attempts. They had 13 aces to just four errors. Gilberg had five aces and Anna Cutler had three. Kanab hit .200 as a team and were led by Bateman, Houston and Gilberg, combining for 13 kills all hitting above a .300 on the night.
In a thriller in Enterprise, Tuesday, September 14, the Lady Cowboys fought their way to an unbelievably close five set victory. This is the first victory over Enterprise in regular season play in at least 20 years or as far back as records indicate.
Enterprise assistant coach of 15 years relayed to Coach Gilberg, “I don’t ever remember losing a game to Kanab.”
With the wins, Kanab moves to 10 -2 on the season.
The Lady Cowboys will travel to Parowan, on Thursday, September 16, for another region game.