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High school girls volleyball: Brothers, coaches Reed and Matt Carlson meet on different sides of the net in Lone Peak-Park City match

SHARE High school girls volleyball: Brothers, coaches Reed and Matt Carlson meet on different sides of the net in Lone Peak-Park City match
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Lone Peak’s 17 Lauren Jardine hits the ball against Park City’s 15 Sydney Ormiston and 3 Hayden Goodman at Lone Peak High School in Highland on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

HIGHLAND — If you asked brothers Reed and Matt Carlson while they were attending the University of Utah what their post-college plans were, coaching high school girls volleyball probably wouldn’t have made the top of the list.

The two kids from Chicago, though, ended up in Utah and are enjoying being head coaches for Lone Peak High School (Reed) and Park City High School (Matt).

“It’s always fun. This is probably our fourth installment over five years. It’s always fun. I enjoy playing against Matt’s teams, they’re always well coached and you know. He’s a high-quality coach and it’s always impressive to see what he does with his team.” — Lone Peak coach Reed Carlson

After playing volleyball at the University of Utah with Matt Carlson, Reed Carlson got into coaching high school volleyball after some persuasion by parents asking him to coach a club team. Initially, Reed Carlson was hesitant about the idea of coaching girls high school volleyball but relented after about a year. Reed Carlson moved on to coach Lone Peak in a few more years.

“A bunch of kids who I had coached in club were at Lone Peak. Deanna (Meyer) had stepped down and they asked me to come apply. I didn’t want to, I’ll be honest with you. Coaching high school wasn’t going to be my thing, but they convinced me,” Reed Carlson said. “I luckily got the job and we’ve had some success and it’s been good so far.”

Soon after Reed Carlson originally started coaching club volleyball, Matt Carlson started coaching girls’ volleyball as well.

“Finally, he (Reed) did it and he’s like, ‘Dude, it’s so fun, you’ve got to come do it.’ I was like, ‘No way,’” Matt Carlson said. “He convinced me to go coach and then the rest is history. I’ve been coaching ever since.”

The two have found success, with Reed Carlson winning three state titles and Matt Carlson winning one.

The two brothers grew up playing volleyball and have had a passion for the game ever since. Reed Carlson was introduced to volleyball in seventh grade.

“I was introduced to volleyball and it was just one of those things that I absolutely loved and I couldn’t get away from it. It became my passion, my go to. I ended up quitting soccer at the high school level in my senior year so I can solely focus on volleyball,” Reed Carlson said. “It’s just a huge part of my life.”

On Wednesday at Lone Peak, the two were on opposite sides of the net, coaching against each other. They even shared a moment together in the third set, helping to fix the net antenna.

“It’s always fun. This is probably our fourth installment over five years. It’s always fun. I enjoy playing against Matt’s teams, they’re always well coached and you know,” Reed Carlson said. “He’s a high-quality coach and it’s always impressive to see what he does with his team.”

The Knights defeated the Miners in straight sets, winning 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-21).

“It’s always a bittersweet rivalry. Reed’s one of my absolute best friends and we’re super tight as brothers, but when a game is on, we’re very competitive. I hate losing, he hates losing. ... It’s bittersweet for sure,” Matt Carlson said.

Lone Peak improved to 3-0 on the year, while Park City fell to 0-1.

“I feel like our passing was better than yesterday. Offensively, I think we could have been a little cleaner. I think our setting could have been a little bit cleaner. I was definitely a lot happier with our serving tonight, it was a little better and our passing tonight was a little better,” Reed Carlson said. “Now we’ve just got to clean up, the side that got us through last night was a little weaker tonight. When everything all comes together on one day, it’ll be a fun day of volleyball for us.”