LAYTON -- Maturity comes with experience and you only get experience by going out and doing.
Mission accomplished by the Eagles' Jasmine Porter.
"Our biggest goal was to get past the semifinal match," Layton Christian coach Joy Nakaishi said. "In Game 2 of the San Juan match, Jasmine got blocked twice in a row and her demeanor dropped. I told her 'No. 42 has your number in her pocket and you need to get it back. I turned to the bench and said she would either fold or dominate and she dominated.' "
Porter put down 22 kills against the Broncos -- who had won nine state 2-A volleyball titles since 1997 -- and Layton Christian defeated San Juan 25-23, 13-25, 25-22, 25-15 on Oct. 29 in Utah Valley University's McKay Center.
The next day, the Eagles swept Region 14 opponents Waterford and South Summit en route to the first girls state championship in school history.
"Jasmine wasn't ready to assume the total role I wanted as a junior," Nakaishi said. "I talked to her about it, and this year we tried it again. She has matured and developed into the player she is. It's their job to be successful."
Porter, a senior middle blocker and four-year starter, is the most valuable player on the 2009 Standard-Examiner All-Area Girls Volleyball Team.
"I pushed Jasmine and didn't let her quit," Nakaishi said. "It's not always about volleyball; there is more to life than volleyball. She took control this year and got the job done.
"I've taught Jasmine since the fifth grade, and I've been her only volleyball coach," she said. "Jasmine played the whole rotation the last two years, and was a good all-around player who did great this year.
"When it comes down to it, she is so competitive," Nakaishi said. "Some players like to play and some like to compete; Jasmine likes to compete. She has learned the task of winning, and Jasmine left a good legacy at Layton Christian Academy. I've never had a team that was so unselfish, and when it came to tough matches they knew what to do."
After dropping a five-gamer at Altamont in their Sept. 1 season opener, the Eagles never tasted defeat again -- finishing with a glossy 23-1 overall record.
"The 23-match winning streak was the thing I liked the most and then winning state," said the 17-year-old Porter, who has signed with San Diego State in women's basketball.
"It was a hard decision between the two; I prayed about it," she said. "I've played basketball since I was 3 and volleyball since third grade. Basketball has the WNBA, which is my goal."
Porter was recruited for volleyball by North Carolina, Montana, UNLV, Utah and Weber State, among other schools.
"I would have had a lot of regrets not going basketball; I would have had an empty spot," she said.
But Porter will always cherish her volleyball career and senior season with the Eagles.
"Basically, we took it a practice at a time," she said. "Then, one match at a time and not worrying about what our record was. It was our goal to win state, and I thought we could do it. But I didn't believe it until the morning of the championship match.
"My role was being a go-to player and being the team cheerleader."
Porter had 17 kills, four solo blocks, six block assists and 10 digs in a 25-21, 25-16, 25-23 title-clinching victory over the Wildcats on Oct. 30 at Utah Valley University.
"I wanted to make sure I played my hardest and have no regrets in my last high school volleyball match," she said. "Our team has been together for two years, and we weren't as close on the team my first two years. The last two years we all hung out together and we still hang out together.
"Coach would run us through the ringer and back before state, and we had players who were disappointed in each other," Porter said. "But we needed to be physically, mentally and spiritually ready. I would do it all over again."
Porter joins older brother BJ as an All-Area Team MVP plus a state champion. BJ played guard on Layton Christian's 2006-07 1-A basketball title team.
"BJ is like my No. 1 fan along with my parents, Bobby and Montenna," she said. "He is behind me in everything I do."