Professional volleyball league expands teams to Utah

VLA logo Photo credit: Volleyball League of America (VLA)

The Volleyball League of America held exhibition matches this past weekend in Lindon, Utah featuring three teams: Utah Outlaws, Utah Mountain High and Colorado Kingsmen.

With the league officially starting in 2017, it has continued to expand from New York to the islands of Hawaii. With this new expansion, the VLA hopes to continue to spread to gain a footing in the United States.

The weekend began Saturday night with Mountain High playing the Outlaws in a best-of-five match. Although a close match throughout, Mountain High was able to pull off a clean three-set sweep over the Outlaws.

The second match of the night featured the Outlaws and the Kingsmen. The Kingsmen started off the match hot, winning the first two sets quite easily. But the Outlaws did not go out quietly.

Rallying past their two-set deficit, the Outlaws won back-to-back sets to tie up the match at two a piece. With the pressure on and the game tied up, the Kingsmen were able to rally back and prevent the reverse sweep by the Outlaws winning the match 3-2.

The final match of night one was between the Kingsmen and Mountain High. After playing an intense five-set match just a half hour before their final match, the Kingsmen struggled to find a rhythm against Mountain High, falling in a swift three-set match.

With the second day of matches beginning, the Outlaws were again matched up against the Kingsmen. Although suffering a tough loss the previous night, the Outlaws were able to flip the script and completed a clean sweep of the Kingsmen winning 3-0. After the match, the Kingsmen again faced Mountain High and were swept once again in a quick 3-0 match.

The final match of the weekend saw the two Utah teams matched up in another five-set match. Although the Outlaws started off strong, Mountain High was relentless from the service line, winning the first two sets with ease.

As the final set began, the Outlaws began to find their footing, leading the set until it was tied at 21 a piece. As both teams traded points; Mountain High finally strung together enough points to put the game away 25-23, finishing the match with another clean sweep.

“I think it’s awesome that the league wants to expand to Utah,” said Cody Wong, setter for Utah Mountain High. “There’s so much talent here and such a strong volleyball presence in Utah so it just makes sense to have a team here.”

With the VLA Championships coming up in June, both teams continue to work hard to bring the state of Utah a win to end the year.