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Olympus boys volleyball second best in state

May 29, 2022 01:41PM ● By Catherine Garrett

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

The Olympus High boys volleyball team came up just short in the finals of the Utah Boys Volleyball Association state championship against Pleasant Grove at Wasatch High School May 7. The Titans lost in three sets to the Vikings 19-25, 25-18, 15-10.

“We’re extremely proud of the boys and the work that they put in to make this season such a success,” said assistant coach Brett Peterson. “Despite the disappointing end, it’s been another great year for Olympus volleyball.”

In the title match, the Titans were led on offense by senior captains outside hitter Syun Jones and setter Quinn Johnson and came away with the first set. They then started the second set strong, getting out to a six-point lead before the Vikings came back and made it a tight game and then they closed out the second set with a run. Pleasant Grove went up 8-4 in the final set to 15 and Olympus showed their fight to close the gap to being down one at 11-10 until the Vikings ran away with the final four points.

Jones put away 10 kills with Johnson and Sam Janzen combining for 35 assists in the match while sophomore libero Torin Stewart led Olympus defensively with 18 digs.

With its second-place finish, the Titans extend their streak of 12 consecutive years with a top-10 finish in state.

Their journey to the finals at state began with a bye in the first round—due to being a fourth seed after a strong regular season and second-place finish in the Salt Lake Region. In the round of 16, Olympus defeated Provo 25-16, 25-18 with quick offense and “phenomenal back row defense,” according to Peterson. They then faced Weber in the quarterfinals and won in a tight match 32-30, 25-21. In the semifinals, the Titans faced Copper Hills, who had upset the top-ranked Springville squad, and was able to defeat the Grizzlies in straight sets 25-21, 25-16 to reach the championship.

Peterson noted his team’s “high-powered offense” which was fueled by Jones and fellow outside hitters Bailey Christiansen, Dallin Riddle and Seth Pferdner, along with middle blockers Eli Stark and Jack Swain. “Eli and Jack shared responsibilities in the middle, consistently shutting down opponents’ offense while running an extremely efficient middle attack,” Peterson said.

The defense for Olympus was anchored by Stewart, “who simply refuses to let a ball touch the ground,” according to Peterson, along with defensive specialists Christian Cord and Eli Nelson.

The program’s junior varsity team also recently won the Region JV championship against West Jordan 25-21—in a “rubber match” of playing one set to 25—after defeating the Jaguars 18-25, 27-25, 16-14 in the initial championship game. The Titans defeated No. 1 seeded Bingham in straight sets twice on their way to the final match.

Junior captain setter Kade Crayk led the offense with sophomore outside hitter Reef Smylie earning the team’s MVP honors. The defensive MVP was senior libero Javin Matsumori with sophomore Miles Burningham and freshman Yuse Jones also being noted for their contributions this season by Peterson.

“The effort that our teams have put in this season has been absolutely remarkable and reflects a discipline and love for the game that is really rare,” Peterson said. “This team has been a unique joy to coach and has made for a special season for all the players and coaches involved.”

The Titans head coach Ben Chamberlain was assisted by Peterson and Taran Hall.

“We’ve been extremely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the Olympus volleyball program,” Peterson said. “We have created a program that has proved itself as a perennial powerhouse in Utah, and we’re confident that we will be able to carry this momentum as boys volleyball is sanctioned at the high school level.”