Layton • Pleasant Grove's straight-set victory over Layton served as a chance for the Vikings to learn how to push back and finish strong.
Pleasant Grove (3-1) played a one-sided match against Layton (6-5) for the first two sets Tuesday. The Vikings relied on juniors Madison Wolford and Rachel Gale to establish the pace with hard hits and aggressive blocks.
"We came out a bit slow," Pleasant Grove coach Allyce Jones said. "Once we found our groove, we were able to settle in and play our game."
Pleasant Grove established its dominance with Wolford getting it done at the net with both power and finesse. She alternated between defending the net and driving balls into Layton's backcourt, finishing with seven kills.
"It feels so good to do something for our team," Wolford said. "I tried to step up my play and help out where I could."
The Vikings were cruising toward a straight-set victory through two sets until Layton junior Eliza Katoa came alive. Katoa recharged her squad by taking the match into her own hands, scoring eight points and providing crucial blocks at the net. Layton was able to close an 11-point gap to even the set at 21-21, which forced Jones to call a timeout.
"We had to make adjustments against Eliza," Jones said. "Once she was in her back row, we were able to return to our game plan."
Gale quickly killed the ball for the go-ahead point after the timeout.
Pleasant Grove put away the Lancers for the victory.
"It's such a team sport that we rely on having good chemistry," Gale said. "We play well together because we care about what we're doing."
The Vikings' height and physical play proved too much for the Lancers.
"We have the players to win," Jones said. "We just need to make sure we do it when we can."
Pleasant Grove wins in straight sets
Pleasant Grove defeats Layton 25-20, 25-12, 25-22.
Layton junior Eliza Katoa has committed to playing at the University of Utah.
Pleasant Grove junior Rachel Gale finished the game with 11 kills.