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Millcreek Journal

‘Surreal experience’ for Skyline boys volleyball in first sanctioned season

Jun 04, 2024 12:20PM ● By Tom Haraldsen

The Skyline Eagles finished fifth in the 5A state tourney. (Courtesy Josh Henderson)

A new sanctioned high school sport completed its first season this year—boys volleyball. It was a successful debut year for the Skyline Eagles, who finished fifth in the 5A state tourney played at Utah Valley University.

The Eagles, who entered the tournament as a 10th seed, beat two higher seeded teams in earning the fifth place finish. They began by beating Roy 25-21, 25-19, 25-10, then won a second round match over Timpview 25-15, 25-23, 18-25, 21-25, 15-12. That placed Skyline into a quarterfinal match with second-seed Olympus, and the Titans barely squeezed by, winning 23-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-19, 16-14. 

In that final set, Skyline rallied to tie things at 14 before Oly’s Yuse Jones set up a winner and then killed for the final point. Skyline coach Josh Henderson said both teams played extremely hard in a well-fought match.

That forced the Eagles into a play-in match with Clearfield, a team they beat 25-18, 25-18 to set up the fifth-seventh place game against fourth-seeded Wasatch. They then defeated the Wasps 26-24, 20-25, 25-23 to take fifth.

“We turned to some of our top players, like seniors Kai Sorenson and Kaleo Reyes,” Henderson said. “Kai was a four year starter—played for our high school club program as the starting setter. He’s a good hitter and led our team. And Kaleo was also a four year player; both were captains. Kaleo never played club ball—just when he started high school. He was kind of our workhorse as far as our outside hitting. He had the most kills on our team and led the team in passing.”

Another senior who Henderson called his “unsung hero” was Bryant Hinckley, who started the season as a libero but “then we needed him to play back row and set for us as well. He’s an amazing defender…had some big digs for us in the Olympus and Wasatch games,” the coach said.

The Eagles were pleased overall with the fifth place finish. More importantly, they were happy to finally be playing a sanctioned sport in their home gym.

“Securing gym time as a high school club sport was really hard,” Henderson said. “We were going to different junior highs and high schools throughout Salt Lake County to play games. A lot of them were at Riverton High so it was a journey for many families and not many students from Skyline came to see us play. This year was sort of a surreal experience to be in our home gym and have students there to cheer and support us. That was the most amazing part of it for me.”

Skyline finished the year 19-14 overall. There were 11 seniors on the team, but Henderson also had 12 freshmen. He expects even more of the younger students to come out next year.

“I’ve already had students ask about camps and summer programs they can go to,” he said. “There’s a lot of excitement among the players who are asking how their friends can get involved.” λ