PCHS girls’ volleyball roars back to beat Stansbury
Students from Park City High School began piling into the gym, otherwise known as The Shaft, for the anticipated matchup. Throughout, the fans were getting loud, reciting lines in unison like “you can’t do that” and “you got swatted!” The student section even performed popular cheering routines like pretending to ride a rollercoaster and the “I believe that we will win” chant.
No, this wasn’t a Miner basketball game, but rather the environment found at the girls’ volleyball match when it took on Stansbury on Thursday night. After dropping the first set to the Stallions 25-18, the Miners went back to their roots the rest of the way to convincingly win the next three (25-7, 25-12, 25-15), claiming the match 3-1.
“The first set, we tried a few different things. We sported some different options. Stansbury’s a nice team, but we wanted to see if we could kind of stretch ourselves,” said Head Coach Matt Carlson. “We made some coaching decisions that were not what we do normally. Then, we kind of made it back in our two through four sets to how we usually play.”
With the win, the Miners have now won six matches in a row and still remain undefeated in region play. According to Carlson, the success of this team can be attributed to the leadership of the seniors — including Joana Saucedo, who finished with 19 assists on the night — on the squad.
“Our seniors are just phenomenal leaders,” Carlson said. “They help our whole entire program out with just making sure, from freshman to JV to sophomore, everyone’s kind of working hard. That’s just the culture right now. Everybody’s supportive and a family. These guys are just rock solid.”
As for the student section, Carlson gives credit where credit is due. The head coach realizes that the students at Park City give his team a home-court advantage that may be absent elsewhere, something that he’s grown grateful for.
“That was a pretty fun one today,” Carlson said in regards to the section’s antics. “We have a great student section here and it definitely gives us a little competitive advantage when we are playing teams at home. Here at The Shaft, you really have to beat our crowd in order to beat us, which is tough.”
Unfortunately for the Miners, they will be playing without their student section for their next match when they travel to Grantsville. The last time these two teams met, Park City won in straight sets, but it was also within the confines of its own gym.
That said, Carlson says this team thrives off of playing away from The Shaft, citing the focus of the players as the reason why.
“We enjoy going on the road for our squad,” Carlson said. “We aren’t a very celebratory team. A lot of teams live off of emotion. Our team doesn’t, we just get the job done. It’s one of our focuses; we acknowledge great plays, but we don’t celebrate great plays.”
The match at Grantsville High School is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
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Tosh Martin, a Park City High School junior, was the Miners’ sole selection to the Class 4A UHSAA All-State soccer first team.