Another AAU tourney win for Park City’s Club Elevate
This isn’t the first time these girls have won a tournament.
And it won’t be the last.
Club Elevate is a local girls’ volleyball club and its 15-and-under team, made up mostly of freshmen, competed in an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Tournament the weekend of March 16-17 and came home undefeated.
On Friday night, the team was plagued with poor passes and serves. But their attack was indomitable. Hitters Tressa Buckland, Jo Henry, Candace Schettler and Whitney Wakefield were dishing out steady, hard-hitting kills. This age level starts to develop attack plays, such as a No. 1, which is a very short, quick set right at the net followed instantaneously by a quick hit. Setter, Ashley Johnstun, arranged several of these plays Friday night.
On Saturday, the girls recovered some of their serve power and controlled the ball a little better. Setter, Chrissy Glassman, did not miss a serve all day. That kind of a roll does wonders for a teams momentum. They kept up their attack level and plowed through six matches against other teams to go undefeated and secure the first place position.
"These girls are doing very well, considering the amount of practices they get each week," said coach Mikki Barton. "Many club teams practice more than the two times a week that Elevate gets to practice with precious court time hard to find in Park City."
These girls have a history of coming back after a slump. Last year, they lost a couple key players and their mid-season performance wasn’t good. But they came back and won the IVA 14 and under Elite Club division championship.
These girls also represent what many foresee as Park City’s first state volleyball win. We probably had the youngest high school varsity team in the state last season, with five freshmen, all from Club Elevate. The freshmen team had only one loss last season.
This is the third year these girls have been under the tutelage of head coach Tobin Reynolds, who is a former top 25 beach volleyball player. This year Club Elevate added 12 and 13 year old teams. And Barton, a former all-conference University of Utah volleyball player, has joined the Club Elevate team, coaching the 15 year olds. Stephen Matherly, a formidable local volleyball player himself, has served as an assistant coach and club director.
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Arlene Loble served as the Park City manager in the 1980s, a pivotal period that prepared the community for the boom years that would follow in the 1990s. Loble, who recently died, is credited with introducing a level of professionalism to the municipal government that was needed amid the growth challenges.