Orem • Any visions of a one-sided crusade for a second straight title quickly were dropped when Bingham split the first two sets with defending champ Davis.
No one's giving them a spot the Darts have to work to get back to the Class 5A volleyball finals. And Davis showed exactly how it plans to do that in its last two sets of the quarterfinals Friday afternoon on the way to a 3-1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-13, 25-21) victory against the Miners at Utah Valley University.
Defense, defense, defense.
"They played us a lot tougher than I think we expected," Davis senior Camille Walker said. "When we finally came back in the game was when we started blocking their shots. It was definitely a test."
Bingham pushed hard, but the Darts ended up pushing back, confounding the Miners with some net blocking that stalled some of their power hitting game.
Although Bingham used its athleticism to challenge Davis in the middle, especially with blocker Kyle Fa'amoe, the Darts' stars shined in the match. Walker and Kaylie Kamalu, both returners from last year's championship team, got good sets and buried many of their opportunities.
That doesn't mean they weren't sweating a bit.
"That was so intense: We play a bunch of those girls in club, and we know they were out to get us," Kamalu said. "I think the biggest difference between the second set and the rest was the energy we brought, and just getting up for it."
Davis should have no problem getting amped for Saturday's semifinal against Pleasant Grove. The Vikings are the only team to beat the Darts this year, and the teams have split the two matches they've played.
But the stakes are higher in this rubber match: a shot at the 5A title is on the line.
"We know it's going to be tough, but we've got to be mentally tough," Walker said. "Pleasant Grove has got some good hitters, and they're a really good serving team. That's what threw us the last time. As long as we pass perfectly, we can win."
Pleasant Grove def. Northridge, 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-11) • The Vikings had no problem dispatching the Knights in straight sets, finishing each by a greater margin than the last to make the semifinals.
Lehi def. Viewmont, 3-2 (21-25, 25-12, 21-25, 25-18, 15-5) • Bree Bailey led the Pioneers with 21 kills and 11 digs as Lehi completed a comeback against Viewmont to make the semifinals as a No. 4 seed.
Lone Peak def. Fremont, 3-0 (25-17, 25-11, 25-11) • Jaiden Achermann helped nail down the final set by serving 15 consecutive times without an error, while Kizzy Willey added 14 kills and 11 digs.
P At Utah Valley University
10:30 a.m. • Davis vs. Pleasant Grove
12:30 p.m. • Lone Peak vs. Lehi
5:30 p.m. • Semifinal winners