Volleyball nets high hopes at state finals
The Park City High School volleyball team may have started the season out with a bit of uncertainty with coaching changes and other adjustments, but they ended on a high note beating Tooele 3-1 in the consolation round at the 3A State Volleyball Championships at Utah Valley State College over the weekend for a 10th-place finish.
"When I took over as head coach, I wanted to get to the tournament," head coach Ed Potts said. "Getting there and winning exceeded my expectations."
Potts said that the team never lost their winning attitude at the state tournament, not after a tough Dixie team handed them a 3-0 first round loss, certainly not after the Tooele win, and still kept their heads high when they faced Uintah in the final match and lost 3-0.
"They all wanted to be there," Potts said. "They definitely felt confident."
He said that the initial loss to Dixie was a bit of a blow, but when Dixie ended up taking second in the state at the end of the tournament, the team felt a lot better.
"They thought ‘wow,’" Potts said. "That put it in perspective."
The loss to Uintah marked the fourth time the Miners had been defeated by the Utes. Rather than feeling bad, though, Potts said the team accepted that maybe there were just some teams they couldn’t beat this year and are already looking to becoming even better next year.
"If it was a team we knew we could have beaten, it would have been better," Potts said.
Potts was extremely happy with the play of his setters Megan Woodard and Alex Shearer, who distributed the ball well all throughout the tournament. He was also pleased by the overall output and attitude of the seniors.
In the Uintah game, the seniors stepped aside for the underclassmen to play in the final game when the loss was imminent, allowing them valuable state tournament experience.
"They understood these guys need the experience. They were happy to cheer them on," Potts said.
He said that senior Lisa Hibler said, "I want to come back next year and watch you guys do better and win next year."
Most of the team will return for the Miners next year. Potts said that he was able to hand out 17 varsity letters this year, and just four of those were to seniors.
With the realignment of the 3A division, Region 10 will likely lose powerhouse Morgan, and gain Carbon, another title contender, but Potts said his younger players are hungry to improve and move up in the state rankings next season.
"These juniors know they can be contenders for region, and now with Morgan leaving these factors give the team confidence," Potts said.
Most of the team plays year-round in both high school and club volleyball, so Potts is confident that they will only improve before next year.
Potts, who assumed the role as head coach at the beginning of the season after the previous coach was fired, is unsure whether he will return for another year. He said he would like to attend coaching clinics and increase his knowledge of the game before returning.
The top-ranked North Summit Braves rallied back from a shocking 3-2 loss to North Sevier in the second round of the 2A State Tournament to beat Parowan 3-1 and Rowland Hall 3-0. North Summit finished in fifth place in the state.
The South Summit Wildcats lost to Richfield 3-1 in the first round of the 2A state tournament, and then beat Manti 3-1 in the consolation round. They finished the tournament losing to Beaver 3-0.
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