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The City Journals

Bingham volleyball fights valiantly at state, falters in quarters to rival No. 1 seed Copper Hills

Nov 29, 2021 02:38PM ● By Brian Shaw

Senior libero Bella Breinholt celebrates her team winning a point. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

Sometimes, good things in life don’t come easy. But don’t tell that to the Bingham Miners volleyball team—because they breezed through the first two rounds of the 2021 Class 6A state championships. 

The Miners did not get a bye in the first round of the 6A state tournament. But, it turns out they didn’t need one Nov. 2 as they rolled over the 24-seed Westlake in three straight sets, 25-13, 25-19 and 25-10, setting up a second round showdown with a region acquaintance, West Jordan, on Nov. 4. 

This match against the No. 8 seed and region foe West Jordan on Court 1 was fierce from the outset at Utah Valley University, the site of this year’s state championships. 

As the No. 9 seed in the tournament, the Miners may have benefited from playing right away at state, because they walked on the court that Thursday afternoon at Utah Valley University and trounced West Jordan in a three-set sweep, 25-22, 25-15 and 25-17. 

The Miners and their region rivals were knotted up at 10 in the first set, but then Bingham stormed ahead, scoring the next three points to take a 13-10 lead. 

The Miners would surge ahead even further, as their always rowdy student section chanted “Let’s Go Bingham-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap!” with every point gained, pushing the Miners to a 15-11 lead. As has been the case in both previous matches between the two schools, however, West Jordan fought back tying it at 20-20 before the Miners pulled away to take the first set win, 25-22. 

The second set, however, was not as competitive for West Jordan in a 25-15 loss that was one-sided from start to finish for the Miners. 

The third set was like the first set for the first few points, a back-and-forth tussle. But the Miners took advantage of some defensive errors on the part of West Jordan, and rode to a 25-17 victory in the third and deciding set. 

In the quarterfinals that were played just three hours later, the Miners drew another region foe from the city of West Jordan, longtime rival Copper Hills, the No. 1 seed and odds-on favorite to win the whole shebang. 

In Bingham’s first set against rival Copper Hills on Court 2 at UVU, it looked much like the first set did back in The Pit a week earlier—back-and-forth between the two schools. Knotted up at 15, Copper Hills surged ahead after the break to lead, 20-18. 

With chants of “Overrated!” raining down from the Bingham faithful who made the 45-minute trek south to the UVU campus, the No. 9 seeded Miners scored the next five points to take a 23-20 lead. Despite some amazing crosscourt kills from the top seed in Class 6A that came from the middle row the Miners hung on for a 25-21 first set win. 

The second set was much like the first, as the two rivals traded points until Copper Hills went on a run en route to a 20-14 advantage—the Miners’ largest deficit thus far at the state tournament. Copper Hills would go on to take the second set, 25-19, also marking the first time at this year’s state tourney that the Miners lost a set. 

The third set was a slugfest, featuring no fewer than 22 lead changes before Copper Hills finally broke the will of these gritty Miners and won, 29-27. 

The fourth set began with another knock-down-drag-out epic battle toward the first 10 points—one which gave the Miners a 10-7 lead. 

But Copper Hills did what a No. 1 seed can do; the rivals went on a tear in which they scored eight straight points, handing Bingham a 3-sets-to-1 loss, 25-21, 19-25, 27-29 and 15-25. That sent the Miners into the consolation round season of this year’s state championships where their 2021 season ended in a sweep and loss against Skyridge. 

The Miners, who finished the season at 19-15 overall will say goodbye to five seniors, but return about two-thirds of their roster for next year.