The regular season ended in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night when the Carbon Dinos and Emery Spartans met for the second time. It was all Spartans the first go-around as Emery swept its foe 3-0. With the home crowd behind them this time, the Lady Dinos were out for revenge against their rivals to the south. Emery, on the other hand, was ready to display its dominance and claim a region title.
Early in the first set, the Lady Spartans moved their weight around and kept the Dinos on the ropes. Emery began the game with a 7-1 run and eventually led 20-9. After a Carbon timeout, the Lady Dinos were looking to swing the momentum for the second set, but found much more. Carbon went on an incredible 11-1 run to cut the deficit all the way down to one. What looked like a comfortable first-set victory for the Spartans suddenly appeared murky. To the Spartans’ credit, they hung tough and closed out the set 25-22, but both teams knew it would be a dog fight the reminder of the night.
That is exactly what happened in the second set as the Dinos began to display their confidence. The teams traded points in the early going, resulting in a 6-6 tie. Carbon began to create separation and held a three-point lead throughout the set, but Emery was not finished. Down 21-17, the Lady Spartans ripped off a 4-1 run to pull within one. They ultimately tied the set at 23, building the tension in the venue. Each point was critical as the Dinos tried to get even at a set apiece while the Spartans were looking for a 2-0 lead. Back-and forth it went until Emery outlasted Carbon in the end, 28-26.
The Spartans continued with their momentum and took a 6-1 lead in the third set. Another well-timed timeout refocused the Dinos as they began to fight back. Carbon pulled within two, 14-12, and then went on an 8-3 run to make it 20-17 with the Dinos out in front. Emery responded with a mini 4-0 run of its own to regain the lead, but the Dinos never quit. Carbon ended the set with a 5-0 run to win it 25-21.
Then, something truly strange happened. Between the third and fourth sets, Carbon administration kicked out the student section, suddenly making Emery feel like the home team. The Dinos on the court seemed unfazed, however, and were up 6-5 when all the students were abruptly allowed back. When the fourth set finally resumed, it remained tight as neither team could find separation. It was all knotted up at 15, 19, 21 and 22 while the teams continued to trade blows. Once more, Emery delivered the final shot, this time a knockout punch 25-22. The Spartans walked away with a 3-1 victory and the Region 12 title.
The RPI rankings were released Thursday morning and Emery received the #1 seed with its impressive 24-1 record. The Spartans will open up state at Utah Valley University (UVU) on Wednesday at 9 a.m. on court 2. They will play the winner of #16 Canyon View and #17 Providence Hall. On the other hand, Carbon (20-6) was awarded the #3 seed and will play the winner between #14 Richfield and #19 Grantsville on Wednesday at UVU at 10:30 a.m. on court 3. A full look at the bracket can be found here.
Interestingly enough, both Emery and Carbon could begin state play not only against a region opponent, but one that handed each respective team a loss. Emery’s lone loss was against Canyon View while Richfield beat Carbon last week. Be sure to check back to ETV News for streaming information as it becomes available. Best of luck to both these teams at state!