Prep volleyball: Region title signals Jordan turnaround

Prep volleyball • Jordan last won a region title in 2002 before winning one this season.
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Sandy • The Jordan volleyball team received the Region 3 championship trophy last week at senior night, setting off a celebration the school hadn't seen in a decade.

But that trophy has yet to make its way to the trophy case. The Beetdiggers are hoping they can pair it with the hardware that comes along with winning the Class 5A state title.

Jordan, which last won a region title in 2002, won nine region games this season, one shy of its total combined over the past three years.

When the Beetdiggers started the preseason 0-3, the senior-heavy squad refused to accept this was going to be what had become a typical volleyball season for the school.

"I think we all had the same goal, we all wanted the same thing," said Kira Hautau, a libero. "Our chemistry helped as well. We're all really close, and being close helped us reach our goal."

The Beetdiggers set goals for each match along the way in an effort to push themselves beyond being the first to win three sets.

With the addition of newcomers Hautau and Rachel Harris, Jordan no longer was satisfied with being competitive in matches. The goal became to win them.

"We set a little goal for each match — beat this team in three, keep this team under this many points — and I think that helped us take little steps to get where we wanted to get," senior setter and captain Carli Williams said. "Every single game we come in with a new drive expecting to play our hardest and hoping it all works out."

Jordan won its first nine region matches before a five-game setback against rival Alta. It's a loss coach Brandie McCammon hopes will refocus her squad entering the state tournament.

"It kind of gave us a little fire," McCammon said. "The next day, it was like, 'Oh I hope we see Alta again.' It wasn't like, 'Oh no, they beat us.' We were still thinking we are good enough to beat them again.

"That definitely helped us get ready for this week."

Jordan opens with Lehi in the first round Friday, and with a win could see Layton in the second round. It's the same Lancers team that opened the season with a 3-1 victory at Jordan.

Defending champion Davis and Lone Peak are considered top contenders for the state title. But McCammon, who is in her eighth year at the school, said her team shouldn't be counted out just yet.

"We really do have an incredible chance to make it all the way through," she said.