Two schools won their first state volleyball titles this year. Two others repeated as state champions and another grabbed its first title in 19 years. They all have something in common though - MVPs.
Jenny Snow, Mandy Stewart, Adrianne Bradley, Dallas Bice and Tanya McArthur all played vital roles in guiding their teams to the top of the volleyball heap in their respective classifications this year. For their outstanding efforts, these athletes have been selected as Deseret News Most Valuable Players for the 1996 season.The five MVPs head up this year's version of the All-State volleyball teams as selected by a ballot of the states coaches.
5A - Jenny Snow, Highland
On a team filled with talented underclassmen, Rams head coach Kim Norman needed something that Snow could provide adequately - leadership. The only senior starter was selected as team captain, which was a natural since she is a student body officer at the school this year.
From her outside hitter position, Snow brought power and talent to the table as well as her guidance. She averaged 11 kills per match and led the team in aces and passing in helping Highland win its first state championship in school history.
"She brought leadership to a team that was real young and that tended to be on an emotional roller coaster," Norman said. "She was our Eveready Battery that would just keep going and going."
Snow gained valuable experience during this last summer as she was selected to play on an American all-star team that traveled to Europe and went 7-1 against professional volleyball teams in that area. She won't be going quite as far to spend the next four years, however, as she has verbally committed to play her college ball at Utah.
4A - Mandy Stewart, Box Elder
While setters tend to be overlooked by the big hitters they are setting for, opposing coaches knew that Stewart was too good to be missed.
A four-year starter for coach Laurie McCarty, Stewart finished her final season as the team leader in digs, saves and aces. Oh yeah, in her spare time during a match she also managed to dish out an average of 28 assists.
"She was our team captain and a leader on the court," McCarty said of Stewart, adding that the best thing about her this year was, "her consistent play all year long."
In helping Box Elder claim its first state title since 1977, Stewart's final effort as a Bee in the championship match against Timpview typified her MVP season.
"She always does a great job setting but she really came through defensively in that match for us," added McCarty, as Stewart came up big by recording eight saves and 19 digs.
3A - Adrianne Bradley, Emery
Yes, you know the family name and you know the NBA player, but the younger sister is making a name for herself as well.
Last year as a sophomore, Bradley helped the Spartans to a second place finish in state while making first-team all-state honors. This year she managed to go one further in both areas as Emery won its first volleyball title and Bradley garnered the MVP honor.
According to Emery head coach Nancy Martinez, Bradley "dominated" the state tournament and helped the Spartans get past their arch rival Delta, which had beaten them twice in region play. In the championship match, Bradley showed her abilities by slamming home 17 kills in climbing over the Delta hump.
At 6-4, Bradley averaged over 15 kills per match while playing outside hitter. But her ability as a setter makes Bradley even more valuable in the eyes of the three dozen or so Division I college coaches that are courting her services.
2A - Dallas Bice, Morgan
Despite being an all-state athlete in three different sports, Bice does not like to rest on her laurels. Even though the Trojans won the state title last year, Bice knew that she could still improve her game.
"She realized that to make us better defensively she needed to improve on her block," Morgan coach Liz Wiscombe said. Bice did just that in what spare time she had, and the work paid off as she led the Trojans in blocks this season.
In helping Morgan defend its state title, the senior middle blocker tied for the team lead in kills with eight per match and averaged three aces and three digs as well.
"She's really an intense competitor and loves to compete," Wiscombe added. "It made us a tough team because of her desire to win."
1A - Tanya McArthur, Rich
In a season that saw her Rebel team win a state record fifth consecutive title, McArthur had maybe the most difficult task on the team - change.
Having been a setter her first two years at Rich, coach Cindy Stuart couldn't go another year without tapping into McArthur's hitting talents. The Rebels changed from a 5-1 to a 6-2 offense and the opposition paid the price for it.
The junior averaged nearly 17 kills per match during the Rebels' state-record run and has Stuart already looking forward to a possible sixth-straight title next year.
"It's a big change going from a 5-1 to a 6-2 and we really put a lot of responsibility on her," Stuart said. "She really improved her overall game. But the best thing is that she is only a junior."
Deseret News All-State volleyball team
Most Valuable Players
Class, Name, School, Pos., Yr.
5A: Jenny Snow, Highland, OH, Sr.
4A: Mandy Stewart, Box Elder, S Sr.
3A: Adrianne Bradley, Emery, S/OH, Jr.
2A: Dallas Bice, Morgan, MB, Sr.
1A: Tanya McArthur, Rich S/OH, Jr.
Logan Tom, Highland, MB, So.
Natalie Whittaker, Am. Fork, MB, Sr.
Melissa Risher, American Fork, S, Sr.
Tia Vanich, Skyline, OH, Sr.
Wendy Dale, Davis, OH, Sr.
Martha Brinton, Highland, S, Jr.
Mahavia Maxwell, Skyline, MB, Sr.
Rachel Ariotti, Bountiful, OH, Sr.
Beth Virgin, Weber, MB, Sr.
Lisa Osguthorpe, Mountain View, OH, Jr.
Lucie Turkova, Taylorsville, OH, Sr.
Carrie Bowers, Highland, OH, So.
Honorable mention: Jane Watts, Davis; Sarah Pratt, Mountain View; Amy Curtis, Mountain View; Hillary Wall, American Fork; Debra Knudsen, Copper Hills; Katie Hotchkiss, Roy; Hayley Bernson, Skyline; Rindi Haws, Fremont; Becca Erickson, Weber; Jen Chalmers, Orem; Lisa Terry, American Fork; Michelle Bennett, Cottonwood.
Stephanie Johnson, Box Elder, OH, Jr.
Kim Yamada, Timpview, S, Sr.
Shauni Fluckiger, Mountain Crest, OH, Jr.
Emily Hall, Timpview, MB, Sr.
Tina MacNaughtan, Payson, MB Sr.
Karianne McCree, Box Elder, MB Jr.
Nicole Hamann, Pleasant Grove, OH, Jr.
Katie Fryer, Mountain Crest, S, Jr.
Renatha Gueiros, Timpview, OH, Sr.
Heidi Bliesner, Mountain Crest, MB, Sr.
Amanda Valgardson, Timpview, OH, Sr.
Kristi Fehr, Olympus, OH, Jr.
Honorable mention: Sheralyn Bingham, Box Elder; Maria Cook, Logan; Julie Hansen, Mountain Crest; Christi Boren, Pleasant Grove; Nina Puikkonen, Murray; Cathy Fuailema, East; Liz Gardner, East; Natalie Janovak, Judge; Katrena Ellett, Cyprus; Jennifer Kirby, Springville; Tiffany Massey, Payson.
Tasha Widdison, Wasatch, OH, Jr.
McKelle Stilson, Emery, MB, Sr.
Chelle Curtis, Delta, MB, Sr.
Hollee Stevens, Union, MB, Sr.
Heidi Louder, Delta, OH, Sr.
Marenna Nyffeler, Carbon, MB, Sr.
Tuesdee Behling, Emery, MB, Sr.
Jana Fullmer, Lehi, OH, Sr.
Abby Gardner, Wasatch, OH, Sr.
Lori Larson, Delta, MB, Sr.
Roxy McBride, Union, OH, Sr.
Lindy Moss, Richfield, MB, Sr.
Honorable mention: Melissa Pollastro, Carbon; Becky Turley, Lehi; Rebecca Allan, Lehi; Lacee Johnson, Delta; Jackie Morrill, Union; Marci Kimball, Richfield; Nicole Nielson, Emery; Rachel Konold, Dixie; Rickie Rigby, North Sanpete; Amber Reisse, Wasatch.
Amber Manning, Morgan, OH, Sr.
Lucy Tracy, Monticello, MB, Sr.
Kaprece Ackerman, So. Sevier, OH, Sr.
Paige Hansen, Morgan, S, Jr.
Ann Braithwaite, North Sevier, OH, Sr.
McCall Eyre, Beaver, MB, Sr.
Marcia Swallow, Millard, MB, Sr.
Lindsay Hansen, Morgan, OH, Sr.
Shadoe Shaheen, North Sevier, S, Sr.
Tori Allred, Monticello, OH, Sr.
Brittany Smith, Beaver, S, Sr.
Breezy Vigil, Monticello, OH, Sr.
Kellie Child, Millard; Mandy Christensen, Millard; Meghan Tuohig, R.H.-St. Mark's; Janell Randall, Monticello; Cindy Singer, San Juan; Jaime Bentley, Parowan; Holly Marshall, Beaver; Nan Roberts, South Sevier; Jennifer Rees, Morgan; Kassi Ackerman, South Sevier; Brianna Wilde, North Summit; Allyson Westcott, Monticello.
Lori Stringham, Rich, OH, Jr.
Misty Albrecht, Wayne, OH, Sr.
Heather Roy, Int. Christian, MB, Sr.
Ave Neria, Duchesne, OH, Sr.
Caroline Heaton, Valley, OH, Jr.
Mindi Schofield, Manila, OH, Sr.
Melissa Abee, Int. Christian, MB, Sr.
Lindsey Guest, Manila, MB, Jr.
Bonnie Floyd, Rich, DS, Sr.
Liz Hill, Int. Christian, S, Jr.
Jackie Johnson, Rich, S/OH, Jr.
Vanessa Robker, Wayne, MB, Sr.
Honorable mention: Michele Knudsvig, S.L. Lutheran; Teresa Torgerson, Wayne; Daisy Christensen, Panguitch; Heather Spencer, Escalante; Shannon Williams, S.L. Lutheran; Jennifer Spencer, Valley; Catherine Howard, Panguitch; Leah Ohlrich, S.L. Lutheran; Shanna Mullins, Duchesne; Mindy Hulet, Panguitch; Dezaree Ellsworth, Manila.