Corner Canyon boys volleyball second best
Jun 10, 2019 10:53AM
● By Catherine Garrett
The Corner Canyon High boys volleyball team finished second at the Utah Boys Volleyball Association state tournament May 10–11.
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
Led by All-Tournament players junior outside hitter Gavin Penrod and senior setter Sam Barlow, the Corner Canyon High boys volleyball finished second in the state at the Utah Boys Volleyball Association (UBVA) championship May 10–11. In the final match, the Chargers lost to three-time defending state champion Bingham 25-15, 25-22.
Corner Canyon entered the state tournament as the third seed from the Salt Lake County region and swept through its three pool play matches on the first day of the state tournament and came into the second day as one of the top seeds. The Chargers defeated Weber 2-0, Olympus 2-1 and Lone Peak 2-1 before meeting the Miners.
In the first set of the championship match, the Chargers battled through errors to lose 25-15 before “regrouping and refocusing,” according to assistant coach Dan Penrod, giving Bingham a battle in the second set.
“While certainly a heartbreaking loss, (head coach) Mike (Rogers) and I were extremely proud of the way our players showed heart and determination throughout the tournament,” Dan Penrod said. “Both on and off the court, they conducted themselves admirably, earning the support from several of the other teams along the way for the matchup against Bingham.”
Gavin Penrod led Corner Canyon with 44 kills while Barlow recorded 141 assists to lead the Chargers’ offense. Sophomore middle blocker Anthony Vranes, who along with Barlow and junior TJ Burns, attend Brighton High but play for Corner Canyon because their school doesn’t have a team. The team has a .375 hitting efficiency while Gavin Penrod and junior outside hitter Trystan Pace hit .300. Burns’ 12 aces along with junior libero Zane Minnick’s 11 led the Chargers from the service line. Defensively, Minnick had 40 digs and opposite hitter Jack Nielsen had 16 blocks, including eight solo, with middle blocker Blake Rupp adding 11.
“One consolation for us is that as most other teams will be graduating several seniors this year, our team is made up of mostly juniors, who will be returning for another shot at the title, next year,” Dan Penrod said. “They finished fifth as sophomores, second as juniors and they hope it can be first as seniors.”
The UBVA was created five years ago to grow the sport that had already been competing for more than two decades. The number of teams in Utah continues to climb and this year, there were seventy teams playing in different leagues throughout the state.
Although boys volleyball is not currently sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association, discussions are ongoing as the sport gains more and more momentum.
UBVA President Jill Davis said, “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.”
Davis said what lies ahead for boys volleyball in the state will be determined, in large part, by 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.”