Two stand-out Husky volleyball players rank amongst state’s bestDec 01, 2023 12:26PM ● By Julie Slama
Hillcrest High’s Ana Moleni, seen here with a block, was sixth in the state with 308 kills. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
Two Hillcrest High varsity student-athletes finished the season ranked in the top 10 in the state.
Junior Ana Moleni was sixth in kills with 308 and junior Meia Larsen was eighth in assists with 661 and 10th in aces, with 56. Within 4A region 10, the players finished first in those categories plus Moleni was second in digs with 286.
The team were fourth in region, with a 6-6 record. The last time the Huskies had a similar record, 7-7 in region, was five years ago.
They finished 13-18 overall after falling in the first round of state playoffs in three close matches to Mountain Crest High.
“We saw a big improvement from what we’ve seen in the last couple years so I’m happy with that,” said first-year head coach Cassidy Adams. “Their level of play increased. They got more into team dynamic, growing to know each other’s tendencies and knowing where they needed to play. Their offense improved since they were working together better. They really are starting to come into themselves, not just as great players, but as representing Hillcrest, and being proud of where they come from, which I really love.”
Adams described this industrious team as having drive and determination.
“They’re just incredibly hardworking. They have a lot of tenacity and they are more comfortable with a higher skill set and having faith in themselves,” she said, adding that they also bonded through team breakfasts and dinners as well as going to activities, like a University of Utah volleyball game together.
Adams said with only two seniors on the team, and about a dozen varsity letters awarded, she expects a strong season next year.
“My juniors will lead out the team next year; there’s four or five players who will return and will have that strong leadership,” she said.
Already Larsen has served as a team captain.
“She is a huge presence on the court and off the court, she’s an amazing leader,” Adams said.
Joining her as captain was junior Dayana Mulamba, who Adams said has “an even keel calm presence, which is very beneficial for the team.”
Looking to next season, Adams expects Park City High will be a strong contender again.
“We were close with Park City both times we played them, and they were a top 10 team, so I am confident we will be competitive next year,” Adams said.
She plans to get the team together in the off-season besides attending the team skills camp and helping host a youth camp in the summer.
“I want the team to keep training and getting stronger. It’s going to help us keep getting better,” Adams said. “I want to continue working on their mindset. They’re really developing that fight. I want to keep improving on that next year so we can finish games strong.” λ