BLOOMFIELD – All the preparation. All the previous meetings during the regular season.
Tom Hill admitted on Tuesday night that there's only so much his Centerville Redettes could do to prepare for keeping up with the level of execution that the Davis County volleyball team are currently operating at.
Kayla Joos led the way for the Mustangs at the net, hammering home a match-high 13 kills as the Mustangs dominated at the net, creating openings by moving the volleyball at a faster pace leading to 42 kills over three sets on 103 hits, leading to a 25-10, 25-13, 25-16 sweep of Centerville Monday night in a Class 3A, Region 6 quarterfinal clash of South Central Conference rivals.
"Davis County's offense is so much faster than anything we can simulate in practice. That's why they're so good," Hill said of the Mustangs. "It was tough for us to catch up with their speed defensively. They got some pretty good kills. They terminated the ball pretty well."
Davis County led almost the entire match, pulling away from the only tie created after a block by Josie Morrow and Faith Owens evened the opening game at 1-1. From there, the Mustangs led the rest of the way as five straight points by the Mustangs, including the first kill and first block of the match by Joos, forced Centerville head coach Tom Hill to call an early timeout with Davis County leading 6-1.
"I've loved this season. We've improved so much from the first match of the season," Joos said. "It's been so much fun to play with these girls this season."
Joos added three more kills before joining Sydney Utt in a block that put Davis County up 12-2. Young then joined in the offensive attack for the Mustangs, driving home three straight kills to force Centerville's second timeout as Davis County built an 18-5 lead.
"It's fun to have the feeling of getting kills, but it's even better to share it with teammates," Joos said. "It's good to mix our sets up. It mixes up our offense and challenges the other team to read us differently."
The Mustangs jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the second game and never looked back, using a 27-13 edge in kills to build a two-game advantage. Centerville finished the season competing in the closest set of the match, pulling within 7-6 early in the third before a kill by Joos kicked off a four-point run that gave the Mustangs a cushion that would last until a final kill by Stephyn Wilfawn clinched the postseason sweep.
"We talked about not giving up an opportunity to play hard and making sure that, while we have the confidence that we will win, we should never expect it," Davis County head volleyball coach Brooke Mason said. "We got a little loose in the final two sets running in so many substitutes, but we hit the ball well and worked on some things we knew we needed to, serving perimeter and things like that.
"We're trying to speed our offense up. We're still working on making that look smoother. We want to practice speeding up both our offense and defense knowing we're going to face teams that can move the ball just as fast moving forward."
Davis County (31-10) will head to ninth-ranked West Burlington (29-3) for the Class 3A, Region 6 semifinals on Wednesday night. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
"It's almost literally like the postseason road we faced in softball. It's deja-vu from the summer," Young said, recalling the Mustang softball team's postseason run that included an upset regional semifinal win at West Burlington. "I always have jitters before each of these games. If we put our minds to it, this team can accomplish anything."
Centerville ends the season with a final record of 5-26. Allison Casteel matched Owens with five kills in her final match for the Redettes.
"I really hope our girls understand that whatever our record is does not define anyone as an individual or us as a team," Hill said. "We have a lot of growing to do. We have a lot of opportunities to do so. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next couple of years."