Orem • Defending Class 1A volleyball champion Monticello breezed into the semifinals of this year's tournament with a 25-14, 25-14, 25-20 victory over Layton Christian on Friday.
Monticello's attack featured setter Devin Dalton setting up Jessica Ewart and Shalyn Black, who combined for 20 kills.
"I had to adjust a bit to avoid the middle-block from Layton Christian," Dalton said.
The Buckaroos looked dominant early, but a Layton Christian team that has no seniors made things a bit sticky in Game 3. Freshman Felicia Marshall and junior Daydria Walker strung together service points, while outside hitter Zakiya Harris killed and dinked her team into contention.
Eagles coach Angie Hopes said her team's inability to pass the ball cost it a chance to be competitive.
"Other than a small stretch in that third game, we didn't pass well, and that makes things tough when you can't put any ball away," Hopes said.
Monticello regained the lead in Game 3 at 18-17 on a kill by Shania DeAndre. Another kill by Shalyn Black and a crafty dink by Dalton helped the Buckaroos prevail.
Monticello coach Tony Esplin said his team was a bit sluggish in its morning opener, but it played and passed the ball better against Layton Christian.
"I thought Devin did a good job of putting the ball in places where our hitters could finish," Esplin said.
If the Buckaroos are feeling any pressure to repeat, it didn't surface Friday, and Esplin said the team hasn't really talked about it.
"No. 1, our goal was to have fun; No. 2 was to make memories and if we do those things, No. 3, no matter the place will take care of itself," Esplin said.
St. Joseph 3 Panguitch 0 • After struggling through their early morning first-round match, the Jayhawks played better in their 25-13, 26-24, 25-22 win over Panguitch as outside hitter Britt Sederholm had 20 kills, 11 digs and three solo blocks.
Rich 3, Monument Valley 0 • Not winning a state title a season ago likely is driving The Tribune's No. 1-ranked team in 1A, which dominated play in its afternoon quarterfinal, dispatching Monument Valley by a score of 25-12, 25-16, 25-10.
Piute 3, Manila 0 • The Thunderbirds advanced to the semifinals by knocking off Manila 25-23, 25-16, 25-23.
Defending champ cruises
R No. 3 Monticello advanced to the semifinals of the 1A volleyball tournament with a 25-14, 25-14, 25-20 win over Layton Christian.
• The Buckaroos' Shalyn Black and Jessica Ewart combine for 20 kills.
• With no seniors on the 2012 roster, Layton Christian figures to be a player in the '13 event.