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Kaysville • The pregame warm-ups with Davis hosting Pleasant Grove were a cacophony of noise, screams and house music. Think Kay Perry meets Thunderdome with last year's 5A girls' volleyball tournament champions trying to defend their title.
Davis defeated Pleasant Grove in the first preseason match of the year in straight sets, 25-21, 25-17 and 27-25, but the Vikings pushed the Darts to the end, proving to be the kind of squad that Davis will need to beat if it wants to repeat.
The first two sets went according to plan for the Darts, with high-flying outside hitters, seniors Camille Walker and Kaylie Kamalu, peppering the Vikings with howitzer shots and well-timed defense. They dominated at the net and seemed to take the steam out of their opponents. But the second break before the third set, Pleasant Grove came out swinging and put the Darts on their heels.
"They are a really tough team," Walker said. "We faced them last year in the state tournament and we knew that they wouldn't go down easy."
The Vikings played fearlessly, scored five points and started building a seemingly impenetrable lead. Pleasant Grove pestered Davis with timely defensive plays and kills from senior Melissa Fuchs. In no time, the Vikings were leading 24-16 on a set point. Trying to salvage the set, Davis head coach Lori Salvo called timeout.
"Never say never," Salvo said. "I told them that there are no little things and go out there and do the work they know how to do."
The Darts buckled down and started whittling away at the eight-point deficit. They stopped the unforced errors, with Walker drilling the backcourt and senior Jessica Richardson making two key blocks. The momentum shifted to Davis as the Darts answered with eight to tie the game.
Last minute ball-handling mistakes by Pleasant Grove gave Davis the final points of the game and its first win of the year.
"The score doesn't matter," Kamalu said. "You start just start over every ball and try to get back the momentum and capture the excitement."
• Davis senior Tanisha Langston leads the Darts with four blocks.
• Davis senior Camille Walker is committed to BYU, while senior Kaylie Kamalu is committed to USU.
• Davis competes at the Northridge Varsity Tournament Aug. 24-25.