Thursday , October 26, 2017 - 9:16 PM
OREM — Morgan High senior volleyball player Brooke Loertscher believes the way to respect an opponent is to destroy them.
Well, the teams Morgan faced in the 3-A state tournament this year should definitely feel respected.
Morgan thoroughly dominated its opponents throughout the tournament, culminating with a sweep of North Sanpete in the championship match Thursday night at Utah Valley University’s UCCU Center.
“We come to play and we want to win, and so we fight for what we want,” Loertscher said. “We set goals and we work to achieve them.”
Morgan has now won three straight state titles.
“Once in a while you can get there, but to get there and stay is the hard part, and so for these guys to always have targets on their back, it’s amazing,” Morgan coach Liz Wiscombe said.
Morgan (28-4) won the first two sets against North Sanpete 25-11 before taking the third set 25-21. The Trojans did not drop a set the entire tournament, a feat they also accomplished in 2015 when they won the title.
Morgan senior Marcie Stapley, committed to Snow College, said the team had what Wiscombe calls the ‘grr’ throughout the tournament.
“Coach always says, we’ve got to get the ‘grr’ in us if we want to win, and she always says it when we’re in our little huddle,” Stapley said.
Morgan needed that ‘grr’ a little more this season because of injuries. Stapley has battled a back injury and an ankle injury. Her back pops out of place and the tendons in her right ankle have popped out of place.
She missed Morgan’s final match before the state tournament — a non-region contest at Skyline — but wasn’t going to miss another after that.
“There’s nothing that can stop me from playing with my girls,” Stapley said.
Loertscher has nerve damage in her back and a stress fracture in her right foot. She missed Morgan’s second-to-last region game and then played only a little bit in the region finale.
She also wasn’t going to miss the state tournament.
“I’m a stubborn person,” Loertscher said. “If I want something, I’ll fight for it. If somebody tells me I can’t do something that I want to do, I’ll still do it.”
The Trojans also overcame lack of height at the net this season. In the past, Morgan has benefited from height thanks to players like Anna Cox, Jaiden Farr and Aubrey Saunders.
Defense was the key.
“Hannah Farr, Dani Wortman, Beth Pobanz, Baylee Loertscher … they get their shirts dirty and they’re battling for every ball,” Wiscombe said. “It’s fun to watch them work. They’ll get some balls that you think are definitely down.”
Morgan advanced to the championship match after sweeping Richfield earlier in the day. The Trojans won that match 25-20, 25-10, 25-20.
Other regular-season matches Thursday
FREMONT 3, DAVIS 0
PLAIN CITY — Fremont beat Davis in straight sets in the Region 1 contest by scores of 25-17, 25-20, 25-20.
Jantzen Smith led Fremont with 14 kills and nine digs. Rylee Boyle had 32 assists and seven digs.
Haylee Doxey added seven kills, five blocks and two digs. Mesia Child had seven kills and two blocks while Brittyn Haney tallied 17 digs, two kills and two assists for the Silver Wolves.
SYRACUSE 3, LAYTON 0
SYRACUSE — Syracuse swept Layton to stay undefeated in Region 1 play. Set scores were 25-13, 25-21, 27-25.
Lauren Sotomayor led Syracuse with nine kills and three blocks. Megan Chandler added nine kills, Aubri Whatcott had 30 assists and Valerie Harker tallied 11 digs for the Titans.
NORTHRIDGE 3, WEBER 2
LAYTON — Northridge beat Weber in five sets by scores of 22-25, 25-12, 24-26, 25-19, 15-10.
Alo Thompson tallied 21 kills and 27 assists for Northridge. Brighton Williams had 25 assists, six digs and four aces, while Ashlen Bell added 20 kills for the Knights.
BOX ELDER 3, ROY 0
ROY — Box Elder beat Roy in straight sets. Scores were 25-12, 25-7, 25-17.
Emily Isaacson led Box Elder with nine kills, two blocks, eight digs and two aces. Annie Mecham added 16 assists, four blocks and five digs.. Morgan Reeder posted six digs and four aces for the Bees.
Kaidyn Story had 10 kills, eight digs and one block to lead Roy. Jocelyn Charlesworth added 19 assists and three kills.
BOUNTIFUL 3, WOODS CROSS 0
BOUNTIFUL — Bountiful swept Woods Cross by set scores of 25-16, 25-12, 25-19.
Brook Pe’a had 12 kills for Bountiful while Kaybrie Pe’a added nine. Bri Mortensen tallied 34 assists and Holland Vande Merwe had 13 digs for the Braves.
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