Park City records another sweep
The last time the Park City High School girls’ volleyball team won a region championship, none of its current players were born. So, when the girls clinched the Region 10 championship on Friday against Union, it was definitely a cause for celebration.
"This is a big deal," said Park City coach Donna Hall.
Admittedly, the girls were fairly sure that they could beat the Cougars, a team that they had swept a few weeks ago in three games, but Union came to play this time around. The Miners swept again, but in three close battles, 25-20, 25-21, and 25-22.
"It was not the same team," said Hall.
Still, Park City was able to pull out of each game when it mattered to give the team its eighth win in an undefeated regular season.
"They’re able to assess what they’re doing wrong and put things in place to pull it out," Hall said.
Hall is familiar with this team’s battling nature. She coached them to an undefeated junior varsity season last year and they have been able to turn up they play when their need to. Most of this season’s starting line-up were only bench players on last year’s varsity squad and couldn’t bring that energy to the varsity games. But this year, the girls are back together again and have been running away with games in region play. Hall said that not only does the team have the ability to stay in games but its ability to play cohesively is also helping.
"One of the things that is neat to see is they move as a unit on the court," Hall said.
She said that this year the team almost has an intuition as to knowing where to be on the court and where the ball needs to played on the opponent’s side. Hall said that when one player is double-teamed or misses a play this year, there is always someone to come in and save the play. With Union and every other team keying in on the Miners’ two big hitters, Lizzy Silverstein and Nichole Bishop, other players like Courtney Hoyt and Hannah Winkelman have been able to come in and make big plays for the Miners.
Against Union,Aundrea Hargroder led the team with 31 assists, eight digs and three kills. Bishop and Silverstein brought their usual one-two punch with 18 kills and seven blocks for Bishop and 13 kills for Silverstein. Libero Hallie Magee had 10 digs and Hoyt contributed three kills, three aces and four digs.
The girls round out their region season this week with road games against Wasatch and Uintah. Hall said that both of them will be challenging, but now that the girls have the region championship all wrapped up, they can begin to hone their play for the playoffs.
The Miners should have an advantage in the playoffs, having steadily improved all season long. Hall said that some teams are already wondering what the Miners can do in the postseason and are trying to figure out how to prepare for them.
"I think we are in the back of everyone’s minds," she said.
Park City co-coach Dusty Dvorak, a former Olympic gold medalist in men’s volleyball, said that after watching some of the other top teams at tournaments, he thinks that the Miners will be able to compete this year. Hall agreed. She also said that Dvorak’s presence has made a huge difference for Park City.
"His life is volleyball," she said.
Dvorak has been able to bring a whole new perspective to the team, suggesting plays and training methods never before used by the Miners.
"There’s always something to look forward to or improve upon with him," Hall said. "He’s been adding new stuff all along."
The girls were able to play to a packed house on Friday. With the varsity football game on Thursday, the Miners were able to fill up the stands in the final regular season home game for Park City.
"It was a nice send-off for them," Hall said.
The Miners travel to Uintah Thursday for a 7 p.m. game.
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Court report: Week of June 22