Miners defeat region rival in final match before playoffs
Park Record intern
In the final regular-season game of the year, the Park City volleyball team bested rival Salem Hills in thrilling fashion.
But it wasn’t easy. It took a come-from-behind effort for the Miners to dispatch the Skyhawks in five sets, 25-21, 11-25, 23-25, 25-19 and 16-14.
Coming into the game, the Miners knew that Salem Hills was a dangerous team, and that the matchup was going to be back and forth. The Skyhawks are one of the top squads in Class 5A and entered as the top team in Region 8.
“Salem Hills is a heck of a team, and we knew it was going to be a battle,” said coach Matt Carlson.
After starting the first set with a win, the Miners dropped the second and third sets and found themselves trailing going into the fourth set. The Miners began the fourth set in an early 4-7 deficit, then went on a 5-0 run to take a 9-7 lead and put themselves back in the match.
Even though the Miners were trailing early in the set, senior Brooklyn Sapp never questioned that the team would fight back into the game.
“We have so much trust on the court that even if we get down, it’s not even a worry in our minds that we will lose,” Sapp said.
Riding the momentum created with their early run, Park City went on to win the fourth set 25-19, forcing a final fifth set to 15.
The Miners and Skyhawks butted heads with a constant back-and-forth from 8-8 to 14-14. As the fans experienced a roller coaster of emotions and shifted from standing to sitting on the edge of their seats, Park City remained calm and always had an answer for Salem Hills.
“I never have doubt with this team, and always know that we will pull through,” Sapp said.
With the score locked at 14, the Miners broke free with two straight points, snagging victory and momentum heading into the playoffs. The Miners finished Region 8 play with only two losses and have positioned themselves among the title favorites in Class 5A.
“There was a lot of grit and heart in that game,” Carlson said. “It was a team win tonight, and everybody stepped up big time.”
Park City is scheduled to open the playoffs at home against Alta on Tuesday. If the Miners win, they will have another home game the next day against the winner of a contest between Mountain Ridge and Murray. This matchup could potentially set up another battle between Park City and Salem Hills in the quarterfinals.
Sapp’s expectation is to look for a state championship win.
“We are gonna go game by game, but I know what this team can do,” she said.
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The Miners kicked off their summer offseason program to gear up for the new challenge that awaits them in Class 5A.