Corner Canyon boys volleyball places fifth at state tournament
Jun 11, 2018 02:52PM
● By Catherine Garrett
The Corner Canyon High boys volleyball team placed fifth at the Utah Boys Volleyball Association state tournament May 11–12 hosted on the Chargers’ home court.
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
The Corner Canyon High boys volleyball team hosted the Utah Boys Volleyball Association (UBVA) state tournament May 11–12 and placed fifth, led by sophomore outside hitter Tytan Pace and sophomore libero Zane Minnick.
“This year’s team was largely made up of sophomores and only two returning varsity veterans — Zane Minnick and (sophomore setter) Gavin Penrod — who played on last year’s third place CCHS team as freshmen,” said assistant coach Dan Penrod. “The future is very bright for CCHS boys volleyball.”
The Chargers finished second in pool play the first day of the state tournament and then defeated North Sanpete 25-18, 25-21 to start the second day. A 17-25, 14-25 loss to Herriman put them in the fifth-place match against Pleasant Grove which Corner Canyon won 25-16, 25-18.
During the tournament, Pace led offensively with 55 kills with Gavin Penrod recording 98 assists running the offense. Defensively, Minnick had 56 digs and sophomore middle blocker Will Yeomans led the Chargers with 15 blocks.
“Although this team is young, they can play with the best teams in the state,” Dan Penrod said.
The Chargers finished the regular season in the Salt Lake County league as the third-place team and came into the state tournament as the fifth seed from the region playoffs.
Also on the 2018 squad coached by Mike Rogers and assisted by Dan Penrod were senior defensive specialist Jared Fenlaw, senior outside hitter Kenyon Hayden, sophomore opposite hitter Jack Nielsen, senior outside hitter Jonah Phillips, freshman defensive specialist Keegan Rappleye and sophomore middle blocker Blake Rupp.
Boys volleyball has been played throughout the state the past 20 years, but the UBVA was formed just three years ago and is following the exponential growth the sport is enjoying nationwide.
“Our goal was to work together to grow boys volleyball,” UBVA president Jill Davis said. “We have been successful in bringing leadership, organization and growth to the existing boys volleyball community. We continually strive to help it be a more legitimate and formally recognized experience for the many boys here who love to play. We have seen incredible response and success since UBVA’s inception.”
The sport has also been evolving into a year-round deal with a fall club season held and nine club options statewide for participants to choose from. The numbers continue to grow each year, which is also helping the high school spring season expand to more than 60 teams this season.
Currently, the boys sport is not sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association, but discussions with UHSAA have taken place and Davis is “hopeful our local school administrators will begin to recognize the value of it as a viable athletic option for their students.”
Davis noted that nearly all of the 149 schools in the state have girls volleyball. “It’s obviously a very popular and welcome sport in the state,” she said. “And, anyone who has ever seen boys play at a competitive level know it is a very different and exciting game to watch, so we are hopeful the culture of boys volleyball will continue to build and become more accepted and supported by our community at large.”
“Volleyball is just a great game. It is truly a team sport, truly a mental exercise, and truly a challenge to master,” Davis said. “If you play competitively, you begin to appreciate many incredible technical nuances that are involved; for example, the slight angle of a hand will make or break a good pass, set, block or hit which can result in either you gaining a point or giving one away. And, of course, that all has to be decided and accomplished in a fraction of a second — sometimes while you are floating in mid-air.”
Davis said what lies ahead for boys volleyball in the state will be determined, in large part, to UBVA’s “ability to accommodate the current growth and interest.” “We truly hope the future sees all boys high school volleyball teams in Utah enjoying a healthy presence within their own schools — whether merely using the gyms for practices and games as a club sport or as a full-fledged sanctioned sport with total school support."