Passing key in Miners’ sweep of Murray
Park City volleyball coach Matt Carlson offered a couple of “Moneyball” references following the Miners’ sweep of Murray at home on Tuesday.
“It’s hard not to be romantic about volleyball,” Carlson said. “It’s so infuriating seeing when it doesn’t work. And when it does work, it’s even that much more rewarding because you go through the hard times in the dark forest. So, it’s good to come out of the end of that to see it clicking. And I know there are times where we won’t click as much, but tonight, we’re going to enjoy it.”
It all came down to two P’s for Park City: the process and passing.
Carlson has emphasized focusing on the process, even if the results haven’t always matched the process. However, everything clicked for the Miners on Tuesday in the three-set win over the Spartans. Park City took care of business on all fronts in the 25-17, 25-22, 25-20 victory to improve to 6-2 on the season. The Miners improved to 7-2 following another three-set win over Highland at home Thursday night.
“I know there’s been a lot of focus on the team; about focusing just on the process and focusing on certain things other than the outcome,” senior Ashley Fannon said. “I think tonight was, for the majority of the players, a really good demonstration. I think it was cool to see the win come through for all the grades.”
Park City had commanding leads in the first and third sets, but the Miners staged a comeback in the second to take that one as well. The Miners trailed 20-14, but they outscored Murray 11-2 the rest of the way. Junior Bella Ciraco recorded a pair of kills, and senior Kennedy Halper pitched in with a few blocks.
“Huge, especially being down big like that,” Carlson said. “Mindset-wise, playing bad and switching it around was really cool to see, just that comeback.”
Park City’s setters kept the Miners’ attack running smoothly all night. Junior Camden Goodman led the way and facilitated a big night for the Miners’ hitters. Goodman recorded 23 assists on just 45 attempts, and senior Messana Haslock had another 10 assists.
“It feels great,” Goodman said. “The passing was great tonight, and the hitters did a really good job putting the ball away.”
Carlson praised Goodman’s performance for keeping the Miners rolling.
“Camden was picking apart their defense,” he said. “It was fun to see. She just was moving the ball around really well to all of our hitters and getting a lot of one-on-one opportunities. I think we were getting kills off her hands four of every five balls. It was pretty insane.”
Park City’s hitters had a strong performance against the Spartans. The Miners were coming off one of their best offensive nights of the season against Olympus last week, and that rolled over into Tuesday night’s match. Park City had a hitting percentage of .176 against Murray, its fourth-highest of the season thus far.
The Miners also showed off their depth on Tuesday. Goodman had plenty of options all night long, and Park City also built up enough of a lead in the third set to bring in its reserves, thanks in part to a few kills from Fannon in the final frame.
Seven Park City hitters had at least three kills in just three sets on Tuesday. Knowing that she has plenty of teammates who can reliably score points gave Goodman plenty of confidence.
“It just makes me feel a lot more confident on the court because I have so many options,” Goodman said. “Rather than only having one person that I can go to, just hard to decide which person to go to since they’re all getting so many kills. It’s great, lots of opportunities.
“All the hitters make it difficult because they all want the ball so bad, and they’re doing a great job putting it away.”
Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athlete and Olympic champion Alex Hall secured the win in big air at Beijing, the same location where he clinched his Olympic victory in slopestyle at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games.
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