Miners sweep Highland for first victory of the season
Park City’s depth shines in final set
Park City’s volleyball team started off the season with back-to-back losses in sweeps against Skyridge and Lone Peak, but the Miners were on the right side of a sweep on Tuesday.
Park City took home its first win of the season in a 25-8, 25-18, 25-21 sweep of Highland, improving to 1-2. Tuesday night’s contest was the first of a stretch of three matches in three days for the Miners, as they face Timpview and Murray on the road on Wednesday and Thursday.
“This was a big day for us,” Park City coach Matt Carlson said. “I was nervous coming in just because we scheduled our first couple matches against tougher competition, wanting to really expose what we need to work on, and sometimes that can backfire, right? Kids are losing confidence in their abilities and losing courage, and so today just having them come back out and refocus and train really hard is a good thing to happen.”
Carlson described Park City’s loss to Lone Peak last week where the Miners lost all three sets by double digits as “probably the worst volleyball I’ve seen here,” and Park City came out on Tuesday night firing on all cylinders. After taking a 7-4 lead in the first set, the Miners recorded 12 straight points to take a 19-4 advantage. Senior Mattie Prior led the team with eight kills, and four of them came in the last five points of the first set to clinch the 25-8 win, Park City’s first of the season.
Carlson kept his starters out for the second set because he wanted to see how they reacted to a dominating first set and if they could carry the momentum.
They couldn’t, and Highland hung with the Miners for most of the frame. Carlson called a timeout with the Miners trailing 10-7, and Park City responded by scoring seven of the next nine points. Highland ended up taking an 18-16 lead, only for Park City to score nine straight points to take the set. Most of the Miners’ run at the end of the frame came off Highland errors.
“As predicted, it was a little bit scary,” Carlson said. “It was 18-18, and we got back in our groove and just started focusing on playing Park City volleyball.”
Carlson turned to his bench for the third set, and the Miners still came away with a 25-21 win and the sweep. Park City led by as much as six late in the set, and Carlson liked what he saw from his team’s depth.
“The power of the program is how deep your program really is and your bench really is,” he said. “So to have kids who have been working their tails off go down there and see what they can do is just huge. It’s a huge confidence booster for them, and it also makes your practices better. It’s just awesome.”
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Park City lost 7-0, but coach Tom Merchant says his team played better than the score indicates.