The Davis Darts, semi-finalists from last year, took to the volleyball court after having suffered a tough loss in the semis the year before.
The Lehi Pioneers, ranked as one of the top teams in 5A during the season, also made an appearance last season with a disappointing result.
When the match was over, it was Davis that wiped the bitter taste from last season off their mouths, sweeping the Pioneers in three games (25-17, 25-17, 25-19) to take home their first state title in volleyball since 1975.
“We had our eye on the prize this year,” said coach Lori Salvo. “We got that good experience from last year and we knew we had a team that could go far.
“We also knew who were the teams to beat. Region 4 had a lot of top teams that were in the state tournament last year and when we looked at the bracket, we knew we had to beat a lot of good teams to get (to the finals).”
Davis began the tournament facing Region 3 Jordan High School, and dispatched them in four games.
They continued to dominate through the bracket, however, despite having to face off against three Region 4 teams to win the state title.
“When we played Jordan that first round, we played pretty well but were still pretty tentative,” said Salvo. “We got to Pleasant Grove (state finalists from 2010) in the second match and really kicked some butt that night.
“The next morning we had Lone Peak (the 5A defending champions) and we were able to play really well and beat them.”
In the championship match against Lehi, however, the Darts were the most determined and focused team on the floor. The clean sweep gave Davis the second three-game match out of the four rounds.
Of the Darts’ four matches, they dropped just two games.
“It was a magical weekend,” said Salvo. “We were focused and we dominated the first game, so we knew at that point that we could beat anyone.”
Salvo stated that during the beginning, the team’s confidence may have been a little shaken after falling behind by four or five points.
However, the focus of the team members helped them determine the outcomes of matches, and their determination of wanting a state title helped them push through the rest of the matches during the two-day affair.
“We were feeling pretty confident after beating Lone Peak in the semis,” she said. “We felt really confident because we put two pretty good matches together back-to-back.”
As for the players, Salvo said the entire team put forth a great effort in order to get back to the semis and into the finals.
“We just peaked at the right time,” she said. “It really was a team effort and they really played out of their heads the whole time.”
For the Darts, it was the team’s first state title since winning it in back-to-back years in 1974 and 1975.
Back then, Salvo was a member of the Darts as a player, and was a part of both teams as a junior and senior at Davis High School.
For Salvo, the state title is her fifth overall. She has three as a coach, winning two for the Viewmont Vikings.
“It was amazing,” she said. “How fun it was to be a coach and win a state title here.
“I thought ‘now that I’ve won it as a player here, I thought it would be fun to come back as a coach’. We enjoyed every moment.”
The Darts finished with a 30-4 overall record including the playoffs, winning the Region 1 title with a 9-1 record.