Prep volleyball: Bingham returns to winning ways
South Jordan • The gym is loud, the air filled with teammates shouting directions, calling for the ball.
The energy is nonstop, the action fast-paced. And this is just practice.
The new season has brought with it a new attitude for the Bingham volleyball team. It's also brought results through the preseason.
Bingham entered Region 4 play this week with a stellar 10-1 mark, its only loss coming against Salem Hills in the Claim Jumper Tournament last month.
The biggest difference from a season ago, when Bingham struggled to a fourth-place finish and finished under .500 in region play for the first time since 2001?
"Team chemistry, it's always there," senior setter Nakisha Willden said. "I feel like we just love each other more. That helps us on the court. Last year we were more like individuals, and this year we are a team. We want to play for each other."
The chemistry began to develop over the summer, when the Miners went undefeated and won the 56-team Utah Valley University Team Camp tournament.
"That really was the thing that let us all know it would be different," sophomore Megan Boudreaux said. "We wanted to win, but we didn't realize how good we were until we won, and then we were like, 'OK, we got this.'
"It made us more confident and made us realize last year was in the past."
The Miners also added talented freshman outside hitter Torre Glasker, daughter of coach Melissa Glasker.
The addition of one of the top freshmen in the state, combined with her knowledge and understanding of the system upon arrival, has made the Miners challengers again in perhaps the state's toughest region.
"Torre's just, like, a superstar," Willden said about Glasker, who began playing for her mother in the fourth grade.
Torre Glasker and Boudreaux have brought energy and talent to an already young roster that features just three seniors. Sophomores Gracey Tuifua and Vaofua Kaili also start for the Miners.
"The younger players come out and they are excited to play, excited to be here," junior outside libero Kina Tausinga said. "That makes us more excited to play. We know they want to play their hardest to make us proud, and their level of excitement has pushed us to be leaders on the court."
Bingham travels to Las Vegas for its annual appearance in the Durango Classic before getting to the meat of its Region schedule. All six Region 4 teams finished preseason play with a record above .500.
Bingham's volleyball team went 10-1 in the preseason.
Freshman outside hitter Torre Glasker highlights an infusion of talent on a team looking to bounce back from a disappointing fourth-place finish last season.
The Miners say the biggest difference from a season ago has been team chemistry.