This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Bountiful | Outside Hitter | Senior
For the Braves' second straight state championship, Waggoner stepped into a leadership role as well as pounding 354 kills. It was hard to miss her biggest asset athleticism particularly when Waggoner utilized her 35-inch vertical leap to soar above opponents at the net. "What is crazy is not that she goes up, but when she does she can hang up there," said Bountiful coach Sarah Chism. Waggoner's teammates had plenty of imaginary food in her honor over the course of the season: When she scored a kill, her teammates pretended to be eating out of a bowl while chanting, "Rice! Rice! Rice!" in honor of Waggoner's scholarship to play at Rice University.
Mountain View | Outside Hitter | Senior
Kalaniuvalu at times seemed to be a one-woman shooting gallery for the Bruins at the state tournament, as Mountain View went to the Class 4A semis and eventually took third place. When she wasn't slamming kills from her strong-side hitting position on the front row, Kalaniuvalu was cramming the ball down defenders' throats with her serve after launching the ball some 30 feet into the air with a dizzying serve-toss. Kalaniuvalu will take her skills to Southern Utah University next year. "She really helped us, even with our own defense," Bruins coach Jaicee Roden said. "I told my girls, 'If you can play defense on Janet, you can play defense on anybody.' "
Morgan | Middle Hitter | Senior
The numbers were certainly impressive, as Cox led Morgan to back-to-back Class 3A championships by scoring a team-high 335 kills from the middle this season. "I think she can hit any set, and she's our go-to girl. Not a lot of teams use their middle like that," Trojans coach Liz Wiscombe said. More impressive perhaps was the way that the Southern Utah commit stepped into an all-around role as the only returning regular from Morgan's 2015 championship squad. "She had never played back row before, and she played really solid defense," Wiscombe added. "You wonder why the coach never did that before."
Pleasant Grove | Middle Hitter | Junior
The 5A state runner-up Vikings were unusually deep when it came to middle hitters this season, but the best of the bunch willingly gave up her spot there in the last couple of weeks of the season. Gneiting, who finished with 213 kills and 72 blocks, switched to the outside to help Pleasant Grove's overall team defensive scheme. "She's one of the most versatile middle blockers, being able to move to the outside like that," Vikings coach Allyce Jones said of Gneiting, who has committed to playing at BYU. "She's a bulldog when she gets on the court. She wants to win and she finds a way to do it."
Lone Peak | Setter | Senior
Despite playing in a two-setter rotation, Huntsman somehow still managed to rack up 502 assists for the Knights when she wasn't wheeling on opponents to become a hitting threat herself. With all that she brought to the table, it's hard to imagine Lone Peak winning the three straight five-set matches it did in the state tournament without the SUU-bound standout. In the Knights' semifinal win over Brighton, Huntsman scored seven kills, four aces and a pair of blocks. "She's a dual threat. She can swing and hit, she can set and she's physical," Lone Peak coach Reed Carlson said. "And she's very mature for her age, wise beyond her years."
Sky View | Opposite Hitter | Senior
Knowles was groomed to be a setter, but grew and grew to be a potent weapon up front. So, in the Bobcats' 2016 rotation, the senior standout popped 314 kills, with the right-side hitting position being her primary spot. "In her sophomore and junior years, she just fell in love with hitting. That ended up helping us, because she can set as well," said Sky View coach Malayna Knowles, who is also AveRee's mother. Growing up in a volleyball atmosphere naturally made that sport her activity of choice, but AveRee's interests go beyond the gym at least when it comes to winning. "She loves to compete," Malayna said. "Card games at home, any area of life, really."
Salem Hills | Opposite Hitter | Senior
An amalgamation of her first and last names, "Mega-Tron" is the preferred way her teammates saluted Treanor during her senior campaign. And since she was the Skyhawks' go-to hitter, although she was stationed on the normally less-used right side, the nickname was heard quite often during Salem Hills matches. "She loves it more than hitting from the other side," said Skyhawks coach Kathy Treanor, who is also Megan's mom. " 'Mom' probably frustrates her a little more than 'coach,' " Kathy said. "She's feisty and aggressive, but she's really turned into a great teammate this year."
Holland Vande Merwe
Bountiful | Libero | Junior
It might be a wonder, given her name, that Vande Merwe's nickname isn't "Dutch." In fact, her teammates call her "Swanson," but Vande Merwe was certainly a treat defensively for the Class 4A state champion Braves during a 31-2 campaign. Her consistent presence at the libero position came from hard work, according to Bountiful coach Sarah Chism. "She really loves to do the dirty work. She practices passing and does it relentlessly," Chism said. "She was also very vocal all year. That was something we worked on with her last year, and it was awesome to see her grow."
How the All-Tribune prep volleyball team was chosen
The Tribune and TribPreps staff used personal observations, analysis of season statistics and input from coaches throughout the state to select an All-Tribune MVP and an additional eight-member All-Tribune Team. These players were selected from throughout the state and regardless of classification.