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South Salt Lake Journal

Cottonwood volleyball captures first win of season over rival Hillcrest

Nov 01, 2021 02:18PM ● By Brian Shaw

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

For a Cottonwood volleyball team that is used to starting over every year or every other year in the past few years, the Colts are beginning to put the pieces back together. 

In the first set at rival Hillcrest on Oct. 5 the Colts used a methodical approach to take a decisive lead. In the second set though, the home team Hillcrest battled back to even the match at one game apiece. 

But senior Ali Tripp’s thunderous ace that careened off of a Hillcrest player’s forearm so hard that it ricocheted up into the ceiling of the gym in the third set set the tone for the Colts first win of the season, 25-18, 23-25, 25-22 and 25-12. 

“I think the new region has been good for us. I do think we are pretty evenly matched with most the teams and it gives us some more confidence and hope to know that,” said Cottonwood head coach Astraya Lassig. 

In this her first year as Cottonwood head coach, Lassig said that her primary aim with such a young team that lost 10 seniors was to work as hard as possible in practices and translate that work ethic into the matches that the Colts are playing in this new region. 

“In past regions we weren’t in a spot to be able to make a dent which has seemed to give us a mentality over the years of not being comfortable winning without realizing it,” Lassig said.  “This region gives us a chance to change that mentality and hopefully sometime soon come out on top.” 

Cottonwood [1-18, 1-9 Region 7] has just two games left in region play before pairings will be announced for the 5A state tournament.

What is interesting about the current RPI, or Ratings Percentage Index that seeds all the teams in Class 5A, is that if the tournament were to start tomorrow, the Colts at No. 33 would play No. 32 Hillcrest in the state tournament play-in game for the right to play against the No. 17 seed in the first round. 

While the Colts don’t want to look too far forward with two games still left to play in the season, a rubber match with their rivals is going to be one exciting possibility based on the first two games that the Colts and Hillcrest have played.