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Prep volleyball: Previewing the area teams in 3A Region 13 and 2A Region 17

By Patrick Carr - | Aug 31, 2022

Patrick Carr, Standard-Examiner

Ogden High's Soledad Vanorden (4) hits the ball during a prep volleyball match against Ben Lomond on Oct. 1, 2020.

Region games are about to begin for area teams in 3A Region 13 (Morgan, Ogden, Ben Lomond, Layton Christian) and 2A Region 17 (St. Joseph, Utah Military Academy).

Here's a brief breakdown of both regions.

3A REGION 13

This is Morgan High's region. Any region the Trojans play in has been theirs for the better part of four decades. According to records, they've won or shared 29 straight region volleyball championships.

Morgan has most of last year's team back, led by senior setter Timberlee Peterson, junior middle blocker Alyvia Jaffa, senior defensive specialist Rachel Anderson and senior hitter Camilla Brooks.

The Trojans are 1-3 so far, but the three losses have come to 5A state-title favorite Bountiful, 6A Region 1 contender Davis and 4A state-title favorite Sky View. The win is against Farmington in four sets.

Ogden's a team that theoretically could compete for a top-half finish in the region. The Tigers went 5-5 in the region last year and tied for third place with a junior-led team.

Now it's an even more experienced team with senior outside hitter Rees Bockwoldt, senior outside hitter Soledad Vanorden and senior libero Olivia Blackford leading the way.

Junior setter Megan Aardema, junior middle hitter Ella Tuttle and junior right-side hitter Audrey Wangsgard are three more returning starters who have head coach Brad Hulse excited about the team's possibilities.

South Summit was one of the teams, along with Morgan, that Ogden couldn't crack last year. All three meetings were wins for the Wildcats.

South Summit finished second in the region last year and got swept in both matches against Morgan. The Wildcats had a fairly young team in 2021 and are expected to contend in the top half of the region again.

Ben Lomond hasn't won a match in multiple years. The Scots are 0-5. Additional information about the team wasn't provided.

Layton Christian was somewhat of the surprise team last year, going 5-5 in the region. Additional information about LCA wasn't provided.

Grantsville is off to an 8-3 start including a five-set win over Ogden in a tournament last week. The Cowboys should be a team to watch.

As far as the 3A classification goes, the last three state championship games have pitted Morgan against Union and the Trojans have lost all three of said title games.

Morgan-Union, chapter 4, is a safe assumption in the later rounds of the state tournament, whether they meet in the semifinals or the final (depending on what side of the tournament bracket the RPI rankings place them).

One big difference this year is Union has a new head coach, as Analaine Mailoto now coaches at Fremont, but the Cougars are 9-3 with a handful of wins over 5A teams as it stands.

2A REGION 17

St. Joseph Catholic is the defending champion in Region 17 after the Jayhawks went 24-7 overall and 9-1 in the region last year. They return six starters from last year's team, head coach Cindy White said.

Outside hitter Sarah Snell, libero Katelyn Sumner, setter Lexy Bombela, outside hitter Halen Moon, middle hitter Hannah Anderson and right side hitter Reagan Schellhase are the six returners. White highlighted sophomore Lizzie Randall as an up-and-coming player to watch.

If anything has eluded the Jayhawks lately, it's a deep postseason run. They beat No. 19 Parowan in the first round of last year's state tournament, then as a No. 3 seed got swept by No. 11 South Sevier.

"Our team's goal this year is to win our region again and place in the top four at the state tournament. We need to practice with intent and purpose every day and not lose sight of our goals along the way, knowing that every practice and every match matters," White said.

St. Joseph's lone loss in region play last year was against Waterford, which White expects to be one of the teams to beat. So far this year, the Jayhawks are 6-3 against a schedule of mostly upper-classification teams.

Utah Military Academy has a new head coach, Dan Peters. No information about the team was provided.

Overall in 2A, North Summit beat Kanab for last year's title. Those two, plus Enterprise, make up some of the title favorites.

2A volleyball contrasts heavily with 2A girls soccer and boys soccer. Where soccer is dominated by the private schools, volleyball is dominated by the public schools.

Connect with reporter Patrick Carr via email at pcarr@standard.net, Twitter @patrickcarr_ and Instagram @standardexaminersports.

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