PCHS volleyball takes down 4A Highland | ParkRecord.com

PCHS volleyball takes down 4A Highland

The season got off to a slow start for the Park City High School volleyball team, with straight-set losses at home to North Summit on Aug. 27 and to Carbon on Tuesday night.

On Thursday night, though, momentum shifted in the Miners’ favor as they took on 4A Highland at PCHS. After dominating the first set 25-9, Park City held on for 25-15 and 25-21 victories in the next two sets to earn its first win of the regular season.

Jaden Wright, Cameron Mercer, Clara Schmae and Emily Smith all had five kills in the win. Park City Coach Matt Carlson said it was great to see the Miners have so much success at the net.

"The thing we’ve been focusing on is our offensive and defensive systems," he said. "We got more kills than we have all season and, on defense, our blocking was more in tune."

Carlson said it’s nice to pick up a home victory after starting the season slowly, but added that the slow start was expected because of the from-the-ground-up mentality the team had coming into the season.

"We focused a lot on the fundamentals in practice early on and realized the wins wouldn’t come right away," he said. "Now, they’re seeing the fruits of their labor. That’s huge for us going into region in a couple weeks."

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In the couple practices between Thursday’s game and the Miners’ next match on Tuesday, Carlson said there are still a few things he wants to improve upon before the Region 10 schedule starts on Sept. 17.

"Our first two sets, we’d been working on getting a good spike on every third hit," he said. "In the third set, we got a little lazy with it. We’ll be re-focusing on that. Our serve and pass was really strong again today. Now it’s just getting our offensive system to be a little faster and a little stronger."

Carlson said it says a lot about the Miners that they were able to battle back from a straight-set loss on Tuesday to get a straight-set win on Thursday.

"The one thing I love about this program and these girls is their resilience," he said. "They worked hard this week. Being tired and coming out and playing the way they did, it’s huge. These girls are passionate and have a never-say-die mentality, which is awesome."

Though there will be more matches on the schedule moving forward, Carlson said it’s important that the girls keep working hard in practice.

"What’s most impressive is they’re starting to implement what we’re working on in practice," he said. "That’s been our entire focus. The lack of varsity experience showed in the first part of the year. Now that they’re getting their feet wet and have a big win like this, it’s going to show that there’s not a huge difference between practice and games."

The Miners travel to Ben Lomond on Tuesday for a match against the Scots. On Thursday night, Park City returns home for a matchup against former Region 10 rival Juan Diego. Varsity action is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in the PCHS gym.