By Kurt Johnson
OREM – It was a championship in the making for 12 months, and the Morgan High volleyball team did not lose a single game during the 2015 campaign. The amazing run of success this season came immediately after the Trojans lost to Snow Canyon in the 2014 Class 3A state championship match.
Morgan not only ran off a 32-0 record this year, it was such a dominating stretch of volleyball that it lost just three sets along the way. That’s 82 sets one and just three lost, and those three dropped sets came in wins over Utah 5A power programs Lone Peak and Lehi, and a team from Idaho. It doesn’t get much more impressive than that.
While Snow Canyon graduated five of its main rotation plays from that 2014 state championship team, the Trojans returned a lot of firepower. That was just too much for the Warriors (28-4) to overcome when the two teams met in early October and again in Thursday’s state title battle.
The 3A state final rematch was nothing like last year’s championship matchup, which Snow Canyon won in a classic five-set contest. This time around, Morgan came out on top in a three-game sweep – 25-11, 25-21, 25-15.
The Trojans won the first four points of the match and dominated at the net, leaving Crash Parker and the Warriors scrambling pretty much the entire battle. There were a few moments for Snow Canyon, but this new-look group was not able to challenge the talented and experienced Morgan squad.
Parker led Snow Canyon, by far, with 10 kills, but there just wasn’t enough this time around for the Warriors. With all of the reloading, just getting to the state title game was a huge victory for Snow Canyon this year, not to mention completing the season with just four losses.
It was not the way Parker and her mother, head coach Alaina, who is stepping down after this season, wanted to end their Snow Canyon careers, but they had to acknowledge the daunting challenge they were facing against this Trojan team.
This was Morgan’s show, and all of that returning talent was not only powerful, but also extremely efficient as it the Trojans gave their opposition, pretty much all year long, nothing on which to pin hopes of a comeback.
Aubrey Saunders was impressive with 12 kills, but it is her ridiculously impressive 80 percent hitting percentage that really stands out. As a team, Morgan’s serve percentage was 91.8 percent and the Trojans spread the hitting load all over the court.
Jaiden Farr joined Saunders as co-leaders in championship game kills with 12, while Kennedy Wortman had 11 and Anna Cox added nine. All of it was orchestrated to perfection by setter Jorry Randall, who had 45 assists and a number of timely dumps to deliver points on her own accord.
Overall, it was the kind of performance that was expected from this team, and Morgan did not have a letdown on its way to the state championship that eluded it a year ago. The Trojans did not drop a set in the state tournament and the 21 points Snow Canyon managed in the second set was the only time in the playoffs any team scored in the 20s in any set.
It was a fitting finish for seven Morgan seniors who complete their high school careers with a state championship. The Trojans will move forward next season without Saunders, Farr, Wortman and Randall, but with a championship trophy on the shelf.