Miners give seniors one last hurrah at home with sweep over Olympus
Senior Mattie Prior powers 18 kills past the Titans
Emotions were high in Park City High School’s gym on Tuesday night as Park City’s seniors played their last regular-season game at the court they have called home for four years. Tears were shed, and underclassmen expressed how much each senior meant to them in the pregame ceremony before everyone’s attention had to return to volleyball.
The Miners gave their seniors and the passionate home crowd something to celebrate on senior night with a 25-22, 25-20, 25-15 win over Olympus. Senior Mattie Prior played the entire match and led the team with 18 kills, boosting the Miners’ offense when it needed it the most. Park City is now 12-10 (8-2 against Region 6 opponents) on the season with a big trip to Region 6 leader Skyline coming up on Thursday.
“It’s a way to celebrate the seniors and all they’ve done for the program,” Miners coach Matt Carlson said. “To go out and play as they did with as much heart and emotion is such a great testament to the program and to the underclassmen how to play volleyball and what it means to be a Miner.”
Prior has been on fire since her twin sister, Cassie, injured herself earlier in the season. She put home a couple of kills and delivered an ace early in the first frame to give Park City a 9-8 edge. The Miners later went on a 7-1 run to take a 16-11 lead and benefited from plenty of self-inflicted errors by the Titans throughout the set.
A late rally by Olympus brought the Titans within two points, and Carlson called a timeout. After giving up a point immediately after the timeout, Park City scored three of the next four points to take the set.
The two teams went back and forth in the second set, and Prior and fellow senior Siena Volmer put away several kills to keep the Miners’ offense going. After an Olympus block reduced Park City’s lead to 20-19, Carlson once again called a late timeout. Coming out of the stoppage, Park City tallied five of the next six points to win the set.
The Miners scored four of their first six points of the third and final set off kills from Prior. A 6-1 run early on gave Park City a 12-5 edge to effectively put the Titans away. Prior’s 18 kills in just three sets were one fewer than her personal best of 19 a couple of weeks ago.
“It was super exciting to all of the fans, the energy was great,” Prior said. “I’m just so excited to show off what we’ve trained the whole year to do in front of all of our peers, so it was super exciting.”
Park City has now won six of its last eight matches, and Carlson feels like his team is peaking ahead of the first round of the state tournament on Nov. 2.
“The last few weeks, there’s just been a mindset shift in the entire program,” he said. “Practices from the varsity (team) to the freshmen, everybody just wants to go out and work their butts off. And right now, I couldn’t be more excited for this program, I feel like we are the dark horse in the entire state tournament.”
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Mattie Prior has taken over for the Miners after her twin sister, Cassie, broke her wrist.