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Girls' volleyball: Morgan sweeps Desert Hills to repeat as state champ in 3A

Published October 28, 2016 2:20 pm

Girls' volleyball • Cox leads Trojans to second straight title.
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Orem • Even lacking that last quarter of an inch to be six-feet, Morgan's Anna Cox stood very tall among the competition in the Class 3A state volleyball tournament.

And never taller than when Cox stuffed a shot by Desert Hills' 6-foot-4 senior Charity Bradley on match point to give Morgan a 25-15, 28-26, 25-21 sweep of the Thunder and a second straight state championship.

"Five-eleven and three quarters," answered Cox, queried about how tall she was. "It's a little intimidating to see someone taller than me, but that's how they get to you — so I couldn't be intimidated by them. I had to know that my skills were just as good.



"There's nothing better than getting a block, honestly," Cox said of the match clincher. "Especially against a six-foot girl who's extremely talented."

Bradley is the daughter of former BYU basketball standout Shawn Bradley and she joined Desert Hills for her senior season, to add to a hitting attack that already featured 6-foot-2 Rachel Winters.

Winters led Desert Hills (21-8) with 15 kills and a pair of blocks in the championship while Bradley added 14 kills.

But Cox, the only regular returning from the 2015 state championship team, and Marcie Stapley provided Morgan (26-3) with its own dynamic duo. Cox had 14 kills and three blocks while Stapley, a junior who rotates in the middle with Cox, led the Trojans with 15 kills.

"It feels like I just won the lottery now," Stapley said. "We knew they were going to be competition and we were going to have to be mentally tough, but our coaches really prepared us well."

"We lost so many players from last year that many thought we wouldn't come back," Cox said. "At first we had the love for each other, but we didn't have the on-the-floor part of it. It did take time, but we worked so hard to get there — this is definitely the best we've played all season."

Morgan came out sharp in the first set and a 10-1 run early set the tone for the Trojans.

The second set was much closer, and Desert Hills had a set point leading 25-24, but a serve sailed long by the Thunder meant that the set went on. At 26-26, another errant serve by Desert Hills gave Morgan its third chance to win the set.

This one Morgan converted on an ace by Hannah Farr, when two Thunder back row players miscommunicated on who would try for the dig.

"Morgan took state last year and, those girls who weren't on the court, they witnessed it and practiced against those girls [the 2015 regulars]," said Desert Hills coach Jill Swaney, whose team knocked off Park City in a four-set semifinal earlier in the day. "I expected them to come in as great as they were, for sure."

Morgan advanced to the finale at Utah Valley University by blowing out Union in a semifinal sweep.

It was Morgan's 13th state title under coach Liz Wiscombe and the 15th volleyball championship overall.

"We had a great year last year and these kids played and battled in the gym with them," Wiscombe said. "A lot of people didn't think we'd be there because we lost so many.

"Those kids taught these kids and it's just contagious," she added. —

Storylines

R Morgan won its 15th championship and 13th under coach Liz Wiscombe.

• Anna Cox, the only regular rotation player to return from last year's championship squad, had 14 kills and three blocks for the Trojans.

• Desert Hills had 15 kills from Rachel Winters and 14 from Charity Bradley, daughter of former BYU basketball player Shawn Bradley.

 

 

 

 

 

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