Lancers capture first region volleyball championship
Dec 01, 2017 08:01AM
● By Greg James
A young team with little varsity experience captured Grangers first ever region title this season. (Lorenzo Gasper/Granger volleyball)
Granger High School began playing girls competitive volleyball in 1974. They shared a region title in 1987 and earned their first solo championship in 2017.
“It feels really great. The girls worked really hard to get to this point,” Lancer head coach Lorenzo Gasper said. “The expectations were there for us to do well, but it was a surprise because we have a young team. We had three seniors and a lot of freshman. It was hard to get all the girls to believe that we could do it.”
The Lancers clinched the Region 2 girls’ volleyball championship in their gym Oct. 26. The 3-0 match victory over their rival Hunter sealed the school’s first region title.
The Lancers finished their region schedule undefeated. They captured all eight matches against their Region 2 opponents. In its eight victories the Lancers won 24 sets while only losing two.
“It got easier as we went along, and they started to believe in what we have been trying to teach them,” Gasper said.
In his second season as the Lancer head coach Gasper relies on a nucleus of young players. Freshman Priscilla Moleni and Nikkia Seiuli were key contributors.
“Priscilla was a key part of our team. Having her on the squad was important. She plays club volleyball. Her going through junior nationals and playing at the highest club level brought a boost to our program. If a player wants to go to the next level club will help you become better. Club gives you that extra time before we start our season,” Gasper said.
Junior Julia Taula was team captain and was second on the team with 125 kills and led the team with 121 digs.
“Julia really extended her skills and mental toughness as the season went along. Another freshman that played well is Nikkia. She was a factor in our team’s success and really supported our program,” Gasper said.
Seiuli was second on the team with 106 digs and had 25 service aces.
The seniors led the team through quiet diligence to the team. Lily Yu had been a member of the Lancer volleyball team since she was a freshman at the school.
“Their commitment and hard work really contributed. We started when school got out last spring Monday through Friday and played in some summer tournaments. I think that really helped them. Other coaches said that this team is a special bunch. We are excited to be together for more seasons to come,” Gasper said.
The Lancers appeared in the state volleyball tournament Nov. 2-4 at Utah Valley University. In round one they lost to American Fork 3-0 and then lost to Layton 3-0 in round two.
“The support we got from our school and fans was incredible. We had other teams supporting us. We lost in the state tournament. Being there was great and seeing the high level we played against. We were not sad. It was a building block for us to use next year,” Gasper said.