The North Summit team definitely showed up to play, I'm not sure we can say the same about our team, which fell 1-3 in sets. This was an expected win ...
The North Summit team definitely showed up to play, I’m not sure we can say the same about our team, which fell 1-3 in sets. This was an expected win against a young and small team and took the wind out of our sails.
Playing in the Dixie Tournament last weekend was a roller coaster ride for the Park City High School volleyball team.
Things got off to a fast start for the Miners, who defeated Emery 25-15, 25-23 in their first game. In game two, Park City took down Juab 25-18, 25-21.
However, in the Miners’ third game, their final game on Friday, things took a turn for the worse. Against Herriman, Park City battled hard but ultimately ended up falling in three sets, 25-17, 23-25, 15-10.
That started a cascade that carried over into Saturday’s early matchups. Against Region 10 foe Union, the Miners lost 25-13, 25-14. Then, against Dixie, Park City lost 25-21, 25-15. In the final match before tournament play, the Miners lost to Monticello 25-23, 25-21.
But, somehow, Park City’s two wins on Friday were enough to allow the Miners to advance to the championship round.
“The way the tournament was set up, you have to get first or second in your pool to make it to the championship bracket,” Park City coach Ashley Driscoll said. “We were the last seed going into tournament play that afternoon.”
Then, all of a sudden, something clicked for the Miners. They rebounded with a 25-16, 25-14 win over unbeaten Region 10 opponent Juan Diego and followed that up with a win over the same Union team that had handed them their first loss on Saturday.
In a rematch against Herriman in the championship game, the Miners exacted revenge against another team that had previously beaten them in the tournament, clinching first place with a 25-23, 23-25, 15-10 three-set victory.
One of the bright spots in the tournament was the play of Sam Tan, who was filling in for regular setter Sammee Thomas.
“It was Sam Tan’s first varsity match ever playing,” Driscoll said. “She was the setter for the entire tournament. It was good on Friday to get our confidence going and let her work with the team for the first time.”
Driscoll said she could see things were starting to turn around for the Miners during the Monticello match, so she was confident heading into the tournament.
“The first matches Saturday morning, we didn’t really see much of an improvement,” she said. “Before the third match, we got together as a team and figured out what else we could do. We did a team energy activity to get them all moving and talking and laughing.
“We saw an immediate improvement in that third match [vs. Monticello]. We still lost, but they were playing hard. That kind of got the momentum going in the right direction.”
Getting a win against rival Juan Diego kept that momentum rolling, she added.
“It almost kind of helped that our first match was against an undefeated team, Juan Diego, who hadn’t lost a set yet in the tournament,” Driscoll said. “We took the hardest path possible to win the tournament, but that’s the path I’m glad we took. The girls worked through everything and came together as a team. Since we have two more tournaments and hopefully the state tournament, those were important lessons to learn.”
Picking up victories against teams that had previously beaten them was another important lesson for the Miners.
“It was important for them to see they could lose to a team,” Driscoll said. “If they don’t show up to play, they won’t win those matches. If they do show up to play, you can see what happens.”
Getting two victories against Region 10 rivals will also help the girls’ confidence heading into the rest of the season, she added.
“Everyone’s just looking forward,” she said. “It’s still preseason there’s a long road ahead and we have a lot of work to do. But they’re looking forward to a few more preseason matches and then to region play.”
Park City will return to the court on Thursday, Sept. 11, in Coalville, where the Miners will square off against the North Summit Braves beginning at 7 p.m. Region 10 play begins Thursday, Sept. 18, with a home match against Juan Diego at 7 p.m.
Freshman 2 – 1, Sophomore 3 – 0, JV 1 – 2, and Varsity 3 – 2
After years of attending the Dixie Fly High Tournament in St. George and coming away with mixed and often disappointing results, the Varsity team brought home a 1st place trophy! They had a decent start in their first pool (2 – 1), a terrible time in the second pool (0 – 3), and managed to squeak into the platinum bracket and be the unexpected winner!
JV came together and pulled off a 1st place in the Silver bracket in the JV tournament. This bodes well for these younger players for the future…
For many members of the Park City High School volleyball team, beginning the 2014 season came right on the heels of the conclusion of the summer beach season.
Because of that, the Miners came into Thursday night’s home match against Tooele in great form, leading to a dominant three-set victory in front of a large home crowd.
After losing to Tooele in five sets to start the 2013 season, the Miners took control early this year, winning the first set easily while cruising to a 25-14, 28-26, 25-11 win.
Park City coach Ashley Driscoll said she was proud of the way her team controlled the entire match.
“It was a great first match of the season,” she said. “And it was kind of fun having that match in the home gym. We had a great crowd tonight.”
She added that it was an impressive showing in every aspect of the game.
“This group is so strong both physically and mentally,” she said. “They perform well under pressure.
“They didn’t let up for a minute, which was exciting. Our serving was strong tonight. Our blocking was really strong. Overall, they just pulled together as a team.”
Driscoll credits the girls’ summer seasons with bringing them to the school season in top shape.
“They are in top physical shape,” she said. “They’ve got the speed and their verticals are up there. They’ve got the focus, too – they’re not trying to get back into it; they’re already in it.”
Leading the charge for Park City was a pair of seniors – Sammee Thomas and Tressa Buckland. Thomas had 23 assists on Thursday night and Buckland had nine kills, five blocks and six aces.
Jo Henry added 10 digs and Cameron Mercer had eight blocks.
Driscoll said she’s thankful to have an experienced group of seniors leading the team this season.
“These girls, they’re so focused on the court,” she said. “Their confidence is there. We’ve got the leadership. Some of these girls have been playing varsity since freshman year.
“She added that the difference is noticeable from a year ago, when the Miners showed potential at times, but couldn’t overcome injuries and illnesses to gain any form of consistency.
“They’re just more experienced,” she said. “They all had such great offseasons. Their skills are obviously improving as well by playing so much.”
The nine seniors in the 2015 graduating class will be the leaders of this team, according to Driscoll. That bodes well for the Miners, as every one of them has gained valuable experience since last season.
“Every single senior has already stepped up this season so far,” she said.
Next up for Park City is a tournament in St. George, which begins next weekend. Driscoll said the Miners are eager for the challenge that awaits them down south.
“We are focused on a full week of practice before the Dixie Tournament next weekend,” she said. “I’m excited to start the season with that nice, big tournament. Team cohesion really comes together when you’re playing so much over two days. It’ll be great for getting us ready for region play.”
The Miners’ next home game is scheduled for Sept. 18. Park City’s opponent will be Juan Diego and the match will begin at 7 p.m.