Apex Volleyball Club takes home multiple titles at Utah state championships
With over 50 club volleyball programs and 5,000 club volleyball athletes in the state of Utah, Apex Volleyball from Park City stood above them all when they took home top honors at the statechampionship tournament.
Robert “Bobby” Boggs, one of Apex’s head coaches, said the championship was “well-earned.”
Apex won state titles in the 18U girls division and both the 12U boys and girls divisions. The club also took home second and fifth place in the 14U girls division as well as a fourth place finish in the 16U girls division.
“It brings me great joy and pride to see the progress and dedication of every person in our club,” Boggs said. “It was a fun day for everyone and the results for us were outstanding.”
Taking home the 18U state title was Parkite Brie Miller and her partner Elise Porter of South Jordan. It was a redemption for the duo after they came up just short of a state championship last year.
Back together again this summer, Miller and Porter dominated over eight hours of U18 competition on the sand at the state tournament. They didn’t drop a single set all day, going 7-0 and culminating in a 21-18 and 21-13 thrashing in the finals for the title.
“It all started working and coming together because we got it in our heads that we could play smarter, not stronger.,” Miller said.
At the lower age ranks, Ellen Kennedy and Regan Sorensen partnered up to win the 12U girls championship by dominating their competition throughout the day. Kennedy and Sorenson entered the title match as underdogs yet were able to win in straight sets. After a 21-15 victory on the first set, the girls made some minor adjustments and rolled in the second set 21-11 to capture their first state title together.
“When we made it to the championship game, everyone, including us thought that we were going to lose,” Kennedy said. “By the end of the first match, we were more confident we would win but still had our doubts. … When the last ball dropped for the game point, I was so excited and it was an awesome experience that I will never forget.”
On the boys side, Benton Ross and Pierce Isaac partnered up for their first-ever beach volleyball competition. Despite their inexperience, the boys kept improving throughout the tournament to win the state championship.
“Once it got to the playoffs, they turned it on and played great,” Boggs said. “The boys showed great composure and improvements in winning the biggest matches in three sets to win the state championship.”
Ashley Fannon and Katerina Mantas’ second place finish in the 14U girls division was arguably the most competitive match of the day. Both teams entered the championship undefeated, but in the end the Apex girls came up just short, finishing 8-1.
“They had a great tournament the entire day,” Boggs said. “The championship was such a great battle between both teams.”
Emma Cusimano and Jasmine Le took home fifth place in the 14U girls division despite playing in their first beach volleyball tournament together, finishing 6-2 on the day.
The 16U girls division had the most drama for Apex throughout the tournament.
Adia Aila and Ava Isaac were flying high but if not for an injury, they had the potential to win the state title. Against the eventual state champions, Aila and Isaac won 21-12 to force a third and deciding set. They were in a great position to win, leading 13-9 before the injury occurred, but their opponents rallied with six straight points for the 15-13 win and match victory.
Undeterred, the girls continued to play tough and battle throughout the day, finishing in a very respectable fourth place.
“The 16U group was stacked with at least three girls who stood 6-foot or taller, who were also great all around players, but Adia and Ava competed great against all of them,” Boggs said. “The injury definitely impacted their loss to the eventual state champions but they continued to play tough and finished with a great tournament.”
Apex is now on a short break as the high school volleyball season is underway for some of the girls. But following the conclusion of the season in November, the club will host tryouts for its upcoming 2019 indoor season.
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