Bingham defends boys state volleyball title
May 21, 2018 02:43PM
By Catherine Garrett
The Bingham High boys volleyball team successfully defended its Utah Boys Volleyball Association state title May 12 at Corner Canyon High School. (Photo courtesy Jill Davis)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
The top 16 boys volleyball club teams descended on Corner Canyon High for the Utah Boys Volleyball Association state tournament May 11-12 and Bingham’s Gold 1 team took home the championship for the second year in a row.
“These boys did awesome,” assistant Glen Davis said. “Four of them have been playing together since the fifth grade and besides being great volleyball players, there’s a lot of camaraderie and team chemistry with this group.”
The Miners were led by senior Parker Davis, the 2018 UBVA MVP, who recorded 87 kills – on a .639 hitting percentage – during the two-day event.
“Parker, in my opinion, is the best high school player in the state,” Glen Davis said. “He can hit it from all over the court and it’s pretty hard to stop him.”
Bingham had the first undefeated season in school history winning 25 matches in the regular season, all its region tournament matches and seven more at the state tournament.
“These boys just love the game,” Glen Davis said. “They play year-round – in the summer on the grass and sand – and then in club before high school season again.”
Senior Austin Storrs and sophomore Price Davis and junior Noah Davis, who are cousins – Glen is Noah’s dad – were also instrumental in the Miners’ success this season.
“Austin’s an all-around great player,” Glen Davis said. “Price is a setter but has a very high vertical and Noah, who was our libero last year, hit really well as an outside this year and also dug some really hard balls to keep us playing.”
Also on the 2018 squad coached by head coach JT Thomas and Glen Davis were senior Isaac Koch, junior Noah Davis, sophomore Chris Kavapalu, freshman Brandon Malu and senior Garrett Swain.
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, and Parker and Price’s mother, 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 Jill Davis is “hopeful our local school administrators will begin to recognize the value of it as a viable athletic option for their students.”
“Boys naturally take to volleyball because the game is aggressive, fast-paced and requires that everyone on the court contribute equally,” Herriman High volleyball administrator Mark Robins said. “It’s a consummate team sport. Boys pick it up very quickly and learn great skills like increased vertical, footwork and body control.”
“Volleyball is just a great game,” Jill Davis said. “It is truly a team sport, truly a mental exercise, and truly a challenge to master. 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.”
Jill 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.”