PCHS volleyball routs Judge in season opener
Last year got off to a slow start for the Park City High School volleyball team.
The Miners lost to North Summit in straight sets to start the 2015 season, and would go on to drop seven of their first eight matches.
On Tuesday night, though, the 2016 season got off to a much more promising start. Hosting the Judge Memorial Bulldogs, Park City jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, winning all three sets to take the match victory.
In the first set, the Miners were in total control, winning 25-9. From there, they continued to cruise, winning the second set 25-13 and the third set 25-15.
Park City Coach Matt Carlson said he was thrilled with the squad’s intensity in the first match of the season.
“One thing we’ve been really preaching is off-the-ball effort,” he said. “You have a tenth of a second every time you touch the ball, so everything you do off the ball is so impactful. The girls are working really hard at their off-ball movements, which paid dividends. It was a really clean first match.”
After last year’s rough start, Carlson added that he’s glad he’ll be able to use different motivational tactics moving forward this season.
“We were talking about the carrot and the stick — last year, we got the stick in terms of motivation,” he said. “We got thumped in our first match and it was a rough start to the season. This year, we got a taste of the carrot and it’s so much more fun and rewarding having that early success.”
Carlson said Tuesday’s victory was a total team effort and that everyone who stepped on the court contributed to the win.
“Joanna Saucedo was running a fantastic offense, even with a hurt ankle,” he said. “Emily Smith did the same thing — our setters did a great job today. Grace Wiczek on the outside had seven kills in the first set. Our senior leadership — [Clara] Schmae, Nicole Brown and Hanna Greenholtz — had fantastic games as well.”
Though things are rosy for the Miners at the moment, Carlson said it’s important not to get complacent. There’s still plenty of work to do if Park City wants to make a deep playoff run.
“We have to work on our offensive and defensive systems,” he said. “We haven’t actually touched a whole lot on them yet. We want to speed up our offense and clean up our defense. When we play against better teams that have really good hitters, we need to put some pressure on the net.”
The Miners will hit the road for the next week, playing in the Skyline Tournament this weekend and on the road at Juan Diego on Tuesday. Park City’s next home match is set for Thursday, Sept. 8, against Juab. The varsity match will start at 6 p.m. in the PCHS gym.
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It’s been a rough season for Park City, but a taste of the postseason could pay huge dividends in the future.