PCHS volleyball falls on senior night
The Park City High School volleyball team’s up and down season continued on Tuesday night in the PCHS gymnasium.
Playing against Union, the top team in Region 10, the Miners came out energized following senior night celebrations to honor the team’s five seniors — Cameron Mercer, Kambridge Van Der Veur, Jaden Wright, Nicole Finch and Carleigh Packard. In the first set, Park City took an early lead and never looked back, winning 25-20.
However, the next two sets were a different story. Despite taking leads in both sets, the Miners lost 23-25 and 22-25. Park City bounced back to win the fourth set 25-20, but couldn’t overtake the Cougars in the decisive fifth set, losing 9-15.
After tough losses in the second and third sets, Park City Coach Matt Carlson said there were a lot of positives to take away from the fourth set.
"The girls played with so much resilience," he said. "We are getting better and better. This showed the girls are improving."
But, Carlson added, taking early leads and losing them in the second and third sets, as well as failing to claim victory in the fifth set, showcased problems the Miners have been trying to fix all season.
"The fifth was a hard-fought set," he said. "We played well, we just didn’t close it out. That’s kind of been our Achilles heel. We’ll play really, really well and then these big swings happen. We have to work on finishing out sets. We play well and then get complacent."
Carlson would like to see more sets played like the fourth set moving forward.
"The fourth set, they bounced back," he said. "We had another lead, but we kept it this time. If we can stop teams from getting runs, we’ll be a really tough team to beat."
Despite the loss, Carlson was encouraged by the way the Miners hung tough with the region’s top team.
"We’re peaking at the right time," he said. "They played pretty awesome at times. This was one of those games we lost, but we still felt like we won in some ways. They played better than us, but we still played some of our best volleyball."
Park City (8-19 overall, 3-5 in Region 10) locked up the Region 10 No. 4 seed moving into playoffs next week. The Miners reward for clinching a playoff berth? A first-round date with former region foe Morgan, a team that just so happens to be the No. 13 team in the United States, according to MaxPreps.
The Trojans, at 24-0 overall, are the only team from Utah, in any classification, to crack the top 25. Though he knows it will be tough, Carlson said the Miners have an upset on their minds.
"Our best is going to have to beat their best," he said. "If we come out playing our best and firing on all cylinders, I think we can surprise them. Some of the best teams aren’t expecting a battle in the first round."
If the Miners lose in the first round, they won’t be eliminated from the tournament, but the highest they’ll be able to finish is sixth place. Playoffs begin Wednesday at Utah Valley University in Orem.
The Park City High School track team concluded its season on May 17 and 18 at the Class 4A state championship meet at Brigham Young University.