PCHS volleyball: Miners are shining as one
Ashley Driscoll said there isn’t a star position on the court this season. The first-year head coach of the Park City High School girls’ volleyball team said the team is the star this year and, throughout the preseason, it has showed.
The Miners swept the annual Bulldog Classic volleyball tournament in Provo last weekend, winning seven straight matches to clinch the victory and rounded out their preseason with a 3-1 victory over visiting South Summit High School Tuesday evening at Park City.
"I would say that every single player on varsity has stepped up their game," Driscoll said. "There isn’t one person I would put on the court and feel uncomfortable about; we truly have 10 great players and they’re going to put their heart out on the court every single time."
In Tuesday’s victory over their cross-county cohorts, the Miners defeated the Wildcats 25-15, 25-20, 19-25, 25-16. Sophomore Tressa Buckland led Park City in kills with 11, while junior middle-blocker Hailey Whipple had 10. Senior middle-blocker Laura McLevish had nine blocks, while sophomore setter Sammee Thomas had 38 assists. Senior Sierra Shearer led the Miners in digs with 19.
Driscoll said she’s made it a point of emphasis with her young team to quell runs by opponents early. Rather than letting a string of points go the other way, this year’s Miners have learned to become stoppers.
"In the third game (Tuesday), we slipped a little bit," Driscoll explained. "We struggled, but pulled it back out for the win. When a team finds a weakness, we must adjust. We really focus on keeping the runs for the other team down to two or three points.
"The girls have learned to really dig in. We talk about momentum and they put everything they had into shifting it back as soon as possible. They’ve really taken that on board and they’re great at it."
Last weekend in Provo, the Miners swept seven matches in two days. Driscoll said her team bested host Provo, North Summit (which defeated the Miners 3-2 in Coalville on Aug. 28), Manti, Carbon, Westlake, Payson and Summit Academy.
More than just running the table at a tournament, Driscoll said she was proud of the way her team bounced back from a loss to a senior-laden Lady Braves team a few days earlier.
"That was huge because (the Braves are) very strong," she said. "They have some very strong hitters. We got another chance."
Prior to the start of the season, the Miners made a list of goals they wanted to achieve and Driscoll made sure they were realistic. The first on the list was winning the Bulldog Classic.
"This was the first time they actually started believing and knowing they’re a good team," she said. "A lot of the matches were very close. Being able to finish those games that are tight is huge."
Driscoll said she’s ecstatic to see how far her team has come in such a short amount of time.
"I think the preseason was a fantastic one," she said. "We hadn’t clicked as a team quite yet and we weren’t quite there, but each match we got better, stronger and more confident."
Park City’s preseason has wrapped up and Region 10 play began Thursday evening at Juan Diego High School in Draper, where the Soaring Eagle topped the Miners 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-20).
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Bruce Erickson, the planning director at City Hall, has died, the municipal government said. Erickson was involved at some level in nearly all the major decisions regarding growth and development in Park City since the early 1990s.