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There were little expectations regarding the #12 Spartans, who had to win to even reach the final weekend of the 3A State Volleyball Tournament. What those from the outside did not know, however, was that Emery was just finding its footing.
The last couple weeks of the season saw the Lady Spartans switch into a different gear. After the SVC Tournament, they won their next four games without dropping a single set. While that changed in the second round against #5 Delta, the Spartans did not blink.
Emery set the tone early with a 25-17 win in the first set. It was not going to be easy for the Black and Gold as the Rabbits answered back with wins of 25-13 and 25-20 to pull out in front. The Spartans then gathered themselves and kept believing to level the score at two, 25-15. In the final set, Emery continued to apply pressure and went on take it 15-10. That sealed the Spartans’ massive 3-2 upset and sent them to the quarterfinals.
As it would happen, Emery would next face #13 Manti, who upset #4 Grantsville in the second round. The Templars continued their roll with an early 25-13 win. Not wanting to let the opportunity slip through their fingers, the Spartans responded in a big way. They won a close second set 25-19 and then dominated the next two sets, 25-10 and 25-12, to win 3-1.
Next, in the semis, they took on the top seed, #1 Morgan. The Trojans grabbed the first set, 25-23, but the second was even closer. It was all tied up at 24 apiece and neither team was backing down. Emery tried to even up the score, but Morgan pulled through with a 27-25 win to go up 2-0.
The Spartans were having none of it in the next set and blew Morgan out, 25-13. The fourth was much like the first two sets. The teams traded points down the stretch, but the Trojans held on to win it 25-23. While Emery did not knock off the eventual state champions, they gave them their closest match of the tournament by far. Every set Morgan won was extremely competitive.
Emery then wrapped up the tournament in the 3rd/4th place game against #3 Ogden. The Tigers were not ready for the Spartans as the ladies in Black and Gold stormed out to a 2-0 lead, 25-15 and 25-11. Once Ogden realized that Emery was there to play, the Tigers answered back with two 25-17 wins to stay alive. In the final set of the season, Emery ended on top 15-10 to go from the #12 seed to place third at state (17-14, 6-2).
Congratulations Lady Spartans!