SANDY Sometimes success can't be completely defined by the final score.
The Twin Peaks 17-and-under volleyball team finished the 2008 Boys Junior Olympic Volleyball Championships in 35th place. That meant a 4-7 record in its four days of playing against some of the best teams in the country.
"Overall, our experience was really good," said head coach Derek Larsen. "Our record might not show it, but we were really competitive most games."
For most local players it was a chance to face competition that they rarely get a chance to see.
"This was a pretty good experience," said setter Troy Tye, the team's only junior. "We don't have a lot of experience playing together. In fact, this was our first tournament as a team."
His cousin, outside hitter Tyesen Larsen, said they learned a lot about playing together and just what they're capable of accomplishing with a little hard work.
"We're a good team," said Larsen. "Sometimes we just choked ... Next year we will be back. Maybe playing here will get it out there that Utah has club teams."
That's what many local coaches hoped during and at the conclusion of the tournament. Local players and their parents got a chance, not just to watch some of the most exciting volleyball many had seen in person, but they often were squaring off against those teams in matches.
From individual players to tournament organizers, everyone was calling the weeklong event a huge success.
The best thing about this week's tournament is that it has both players and coaches already looking forward to the potential of next season.
"I'm very excited for next year," Derek Larsen said. "A lot of these boys, this was their first major tournament."
Tyesen Larsen echoed his coach's sentiments, just a few minutes after the team won its first match of the day on Wednesday with an impressive and gutsy comeback.
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