Miners win Region 10 for just third time in program history
Heading into Thursday evening’s match with Union, the Park City High School girls’ volleyball team knew what was at stake. The Cougars trailed the Miners by just a game in the Region 10 standings and with a win, Union had the opportunity to keep Park City from accomplishing something that hadn’t been done in program history since 2008.
Instead, the Miners stepped up to the occasion by sweeping Union in straight sets — 25-16, 25-23, 25-11 — to win their first region title in nearly a decade. With the win, they clinch the No. 1 seed from Region 10 heading into the state playoffs and become just the third team in program history to do so.
“The girls, their focus today was just phenomenal,” Head Coach Matt Carlson said Thursday. “Seeing that kind of pressure and the ability to play … at a really high level when it counted most, it was awesome.”
With the win, the Miners improved their season record to 19-9, with a perfect mark in region play. This is a huge improvement from last season, when they finished in fourth place in Region 10, just barely squeaking into the state playoffs. With a win in its last region game against Stansbury on Tuesday, Park City will match last season’s overall win total (just eight) in region play alone.
“That was one of our unspoken goals this year,” Carlson said. “I couldn’t be more proud as a coach, but it’s super exciting to get back to work and get back to practice.”
And that’s exactly the mindset the Miners have moving forward. They are eager to get back on the court and show everyone outside of Region 10 that this Park City team is the real deal.
This all stems from the team’s senior leadership. The Miners boast seven seniors on this squad and, without them, this year’s improvement could have been nonexistent. The seniors on this team are Natasha Yaworsky, Nicole Brown, Clara Schmae, Kinley Reed, Isabelle Schlegel, Joana Sauceo and Hanna Greenholtz.
“Couldn’t ask for a better group of seniors,” Carlson said. “The reason why we are doing so well, the reason Park City is progressing, is the leadership by the girls and by the seniors.”
Due to the football team hosting its Senior Night the same evening of the Union match, the volleyball team honored its seniors earlier in the week on Tuesday. The Miners were hosting a different team in Tooele but got the same result by sweeping the Buffaloes in straight sets.
Before the match began, the seniors were individually singled out for her accomplishments and impact with the team, receiving a lei of flowers, a lei of small candies and a volleyball with a hole cut out of it with flowers filled in. It was an appropriate way to honor the graduating group, as Carlson gives this unit all the credit.
“It’s nothing that we are doing as coaches. It’s really coming down from those seven girls who are instilling a work ethic, a family feel here, a totally new change. It’s really exciting to see that,” Carlson said.
The Miners will travel on the road to Stansbury on Tuesday, but with the region already locked up, the preparation for the state tournament begins.
“We definitely have to pick up the intensity in practices,” Carlson said. “We have a goal to do the best that we can in every single match. If that best gives us a state championship, then so be it. If not, then we’ll keep working hard, even in the offseason for next year.”
The match at Stansbury is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
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