San Juan volleyball team takes two top 2A squads to five sets

by Rhett Sifford
Sports Editor
On September 5 and 8 the San Juan High School volleyball team suffered back-to-back sweeps at the hands of the top two teams in Region 15, North Sevier and North Summit on the road.
This past Friday and Saturday, September 15 and 16 the Lady Broncos welcomed those same foes to the SJHS gym looking for some revenge. Although they didn’t manage a victory, they did take both teams to five sets and played very well.
Against 2A #4 North Summit on Friday San Juan started slowly, suffering a 20-25 loss in the first set. But they rebounded to take set two and even the match 26-24.
Set three was a hard-fought tight loss 23-25, putting the Lady Braves in position to win the match. But according to Lady Bronco Head Coach Shelby Eldredge, the team played their best set in the fourth, evening the match again with a 25-21 win.
San Juan fell behind in the final set, but rallied to tie multiple times. They were unable to establish a lead though, and ultimately fell to North Summit 14-16.
North Sevier, the #5 team in 2A Utah volleyball, was in town on Saturday, September 16. Once again the Lady Broncos battled hard against a tough opponent.
After losing the first two sets 25-20 and 25-22 they could have easily hung their heads and suffered a sweep. But they showed some strong character and tenacity, battling back to tie the match with impressive 25-18 and 25-17 wins in the third and fourth sets.
Unfortunately San Juan was unable to carry the momentum into the fifth set against the Lady Wolves, suffering a 15-9 loss to drop the match three sets to two.
Though they were unable to muster a win on the weekend, the Lady Broncos have no reason to hang their heads. In fact, their effort against two of the best teams in 2A Utah volleyball is good reason to hold their heads very high.
North Summit and North Sevier have 28 wins combined and just seven losses. They’ve only lost 23 sets combined this season while racking up 73 wins. Four of those 23 losses were due to the San Juan Lady Broncos of course.
Coach Eldredge was proud of her team following their gritty performance this past weekend. “[The players] stepped up to the challenge, practiced hard all week, and now our girls know they can definitely play with the best,” she stated.
“Each game was a fight and I know every girl gave it all they had. I am extremely proud of the girls. They fought through Powder Puff bruises and fatigue from all the Homecoming activities and played at a very high level.
“The matches were exciting and we want to thank all the fans who came to cheer us on,” concluded Edredge.
The Lady Broncos will try to get back in the win column when they face local rival Grand County in Moab on Thursday, September 21. It’s the first of two Region 15 matchups between the teams this season.
Grand is struggling with a 5-12 record, ranked 19th in the 2A RPI standings. San Juan is now 6-7 on the year, ranked 11th.

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