Orem • Sky View middle blocker Tara Goldman didn't mince words. The Bobcats, she said, came to the Class 4A state volleyball tournament to win and make a run at the title.
One day and two matches in, it's easy to take her seriously.
After breezing by Springville in their first match, the Bobcats dispatched Skyline in three sets, 25-15, 25-9, 25-11, Friday at Utah Valley University to advance to the semifinals.
"We were ready for the state tournament," Goldman said. "We weren't nervous we were prepared. It's awesome winning. Our whole team worked together as a team."
The Bobcats had reached the quarterfinals in each of the previous six years but hadn't broken through for a win. After going undefeated in Region 5 play, the Bobcats were confident going into the tournament that it would change, but that didn't make it any less satisfying.
"That's a big deal for these girls, to be able to come in and win both of these games," Bobcats coach Malayna Knowles said. "We're so happy to come away with these wins tonight."
From the start of the match, Sky View's attack was too much for Skyline. The Eagles were unable to handle the Bobcats' dazzling array of powerful spikes and aces.
By the time it was done, Bobcats outside hitter Taylor Duryea had racked up 12 aces, and Maddie Day led the team with 15 kills. In the first half of the match, the Bobcats' bench erupted after each point as their lead grew. By the third set, the win seemed to be a foregone conclusion and the bench became subdued, as if Sky View was not surprised to make the semifinals unchallenged.
"We've been doing a lot of practicing," Goldman said. "Thanks to our JV, we were ready. It's so fun to go out there and know you can do it as a team."
The Bobcats were backed by a vocal student section that made the long trip from Smithfield, and Goldman said that support gave the team further motivation.
"We love our crowd, and our fans are the best part of the whole thing," Goldman said. "We can hear them screaming during the game, and it really helps us."
Sky View will meet Salem Hills in the semifinal. The Region 1 champion Skyhawks, considered by many to be the title favorite going into the playoffs, swept Herriman, 25-16, 25-22, 25-20, in their quarterfinal.
In the first evening quarterfinal, Westlake beat Bonneville in five sets, 25-22, 13-25, 23-25, 25-15, 18-16, to advance. Up two sets to one, Bonneville had a chance to close out Westlake, but the Thunder responded and took the last two sets, including a tense fifth set.
Rounding out the quarterfinals, Timpview went to five sets with Woods Cross before winning 27-25, 22-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-13. Woods Cross was the top seed from Region 1 and a serious contender for championship, but the Thunderbirds, the third seed from Region 8, scored the upset.
P At Utah Valley University
10:30 a.m. • Salem Hills vs. Sky View
12:30 p.m. • Westlake vs. Timpview
8 p.m. • Semifinal winners