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Prep volleyball: Snow Canyon's Parker earns Tribune MVP

Published December 24, 2014 12:52 pm

MVP • Snow Canyon star Alexsa Parker has a nickname and skills not to be forgotten.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

St. George • Since Snow Canyon volleyball star Alexsa Parker spent most of her youth either enjoying the outdoors or spending time in the gym with her parents, who were both coaches, it figures that she earned her distinctive nickname "Crash" riding her bicycle to practice when she was in third grade.

"I was on Little League Drive hill out of Santa Clara," she recalled. "I just got the speed wobbles and went down. They took me to practice and, to make me feel better, the girls called me 'Crash.' Crash just stuck. I had road rash from head to toe and on the muscle on my hip."

It also seems natural that an outside hitter whose parents both coached volleyball and whose sister Ciara helped Snow Canyon win three state titles would become a star in her own right.

The 5-foot-9 junior who led the Warriors to the Class 3A state title this season with a clutch performance in the state championship is The Salt Lake Tribune's Most Valuable Player for volleyball.

Parker, whose mother Alaina has coached Snow Canyon to six state volleyball titles in 14 years, led the Warriors to a 28-4 overall record and an 11-1 mark in region.

She had 466 kills (averaging 5.6 kills per set), 40 blocks, 315 digs and 39 aces on the season.

The Parker family spends plenty of time in the gym.

Mom is the Snow Canyon coach. Dad Jeff was the Dixie State volleyball coach and now coaches baseball and football at Hurricane High. Older sister Ciara is the all-time high school assist leader in Utah. And 12-year-old brother Camden, who has Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome, is a familiar sight at practice and at games in his wheelchair.

Crash is the first person to admit that sometimes the family ties can be a challenge.

"It's nice, but sometimes it kind of sucks because I get compared to Ciara," she said. "I hate that. Ciara gives me crap because she won three [state titles] and I've only won one. … It's kind of hard.

"Also, because my mom is the coach, everyone assumes that I am given what I've got and don't have to earn it," she continued. "Our whole team knows she will get on me harder than the others. I am kind of used to it."

Crash had to endure some heckling from Morgan's fans at the state finals about her mother being the coach. And she admits that the relationship can be difficult at times.

"We try to keep so she's mom at home and coach at practice," she said. "It doesn't always happen, but we try."

Mom and daughter talk often with Bingham's mother-daughter coach-player team of Melissa and Torre Glasker. In fact, the Parkers and Glaskers expect to play and coach for the Club Utah traveling team this summer.

Alaina said her husband Jeff has also played a key role in helping both sisters excel by helping with training.

"One of the big reasons our girls have been so good at the game is that they have had lots of opportunities to play, especially when they were little," said the Snow Canyon coach. "Jeff has a technical eye for the game."

Alaina said the pros of being a mother who coaches her daughter are that she gets to spend more time with her and experience some of life's best moments while helping achieve goals.

The con?

"Being able to separate volleyball from the rest of life and not making volleyball a chore," said the Warriors coach. "That's a difficult thing sometimes."

Crash's cousin, Kodee Avery, was the Warriors' setter this year.

"She lived with me my sophomore year," said Crash. "We got really close. She also helped us bring the team closer together. She was so animated when we were together. She was always with our team and we were super-close after that."

The Warriors star credited the team's libero, Maddie Jensen, with being a calming influence and Shaylee Reed for being the Warriors' source of energy.

Alaina said that coaching this team was different than when Snow Canyon was the state's dominant program and won three titles. One season, the Warriors had six athletes who went on to play for a Division I school.

"This bunch Crash is playing with are great kids and good volleyball players, but we're not pumping out huge numbers of D-I prospects," she said.

Snow Canyon's success often means packed, loud gyms and what Crash calls a "fun atmosphere." Prepvolleyball.com named the school as one of its "House of Horrors" places to play. It has also helped Snow Canyon to succeed in a tough region that includes talented teams and strong rivals such as Desert Hills, Hurricane and Dixie.

For now, The Tribune's top volleyball player looks forward to a summer of outside and club play before returning for her senior year and she hopes for a chance to continue playing in college.


Twitter: @tribtomwharton






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