Grizzlies Set to Ace the Test
Oct 08, 2015 01:02PM ● Published by Bryan Scott
The Grizzlies participated in club volleyball tournaments this summer. Their new head coach, Silver Fonua, thinks that has bonded them as a team.
By Greg James
West Jordan - When a new movie comes to theaters, there is a grand premiere, with hype and flocks of new fans to see how the ending turns out. The Copper Hills Grizzlies have a premiere of their own coming up on the volleyball courts, and the fans are excited to see how the season turns out.
The Grizzlies’ new head coach, Silver Fonua, had been an assistant coach at the school but is now the leader of the up-and-coming Grizzly volleyball team. He has been charged with the task of improving a team that has not been to the state tournament in over 10 years.
“We have not had that much success in the past. It has been new to this team to start winning. We are learning what it takes,” Fonua said.
The team started off on the right foot with a win over Granger, 3-0. They then beat Grantsville in their first home match, 3-0. They also participated in the Hunter Invitational tournament, where they finished 4-5.
“We have given the girls lots of opportunities. Most of our team played club volleyball in the summer. More time on the court is a good thing for them. Playing in the Hunter tournament gives us exposure to different teams and styles of play. This will help us going into region play,” Fonua said.
On Sept. 1 they opened play in Region 3. They beat Cottonwood, 3-0, and lost to Bingham, 3-0. Their seven wins so far this season havesurpassed the four they collected in total last year. They were winless in Region 3 in 2014.
“In the past we would give up mentally and emotionally. I want the girls to get some confidence. They have learned it is ok to make mistakes, but we want to learn from those mistakes. We are showing that we can compete,” Fonua said.
Senior captains Janae Tinger and Rachel Chamberlain are part of a versatile core of players who play in many positions. Tinger and Sami Jones have split time at libero (a defensive position). Fonua said this helps the team have better ball control.
Taela Laufiso, a sophomore, is playing as setter.
“I am excited about Taela. She has worked really hard and has gotten some experience. She is getting to the point of feeling comfortable leading the team,” Fonua said.
The Grizzlies are scheduled to close out their season at Cottonwood on Thursday, Oct. 1 and at home on Tuesday, Oct. 6 against Bingham. The 5A state tournament is scheduled for Nov. 5 and 7 at Utah Valley University.
“This team has a lot of character. We know what it is like to get beat really bad, and that has molded us into the type of team we are now. The girls are good people off the court and good students. That is what makes us better. I really believe that this is our year to break through into the state tournament,” Fonua said.