OREM — Panguitch head coach Troy Norris knew his team was the best in 1A all year and on Saturday night, the Bobcats got to prove just that in a 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-10) championship victory over Milford.
“We knew we were the best team. We’ve been the best team all year, but you’re nervous, you’re scared that something’s going to happen. When it’s over, and you’ve won it, it’s just a big, big relief,” Troy Norris said.
Panguitch dropped just one set in the entire tournament en route to its state title, its third straight state title.
“These girls are my best friends, my teammates and we’ve been playing together forever. To win it together was a great end.” — Panguitch’s Taylia Norris
“It’s amazing. A great way to end it all,” Taylia Norris said.
The match was never particularly close as the Bobcats won the first set 25-12, then got out to a 13-2 run to open the second set and win that frame 25-10. Panguitch closed the third set in equally dominating fashion, winning the final set 25-10.
For the seniors, many of whom have been playing together since fifth grade, winning a state championship was the best possible way to end their last high school seasons.
“These girls have been with us playing since fifth grade. They’re darn good volleyball players, but they’re better girls. They’re just really, really good girls and we love them to death. They’re like family to us,” Troy Norris said.
“These girls are my best friends, my teammates and we’ve been playing together forever. To win it together was a great end,” Taylia Norris said.
Troy Norris was proud of his whole team in the win.
“We’ve got phenomenal girls. Everybody sees the hitters and that, but we dig balls up, we pass the serve, we serve. It was a total team effort. Even the girls that didn’t play, they’re in practice making us better,” Troy Norris said.
Troy Norris highlighted libero Camri Fischer for her outstanding play in the championship contest.
“Tonight, in this game right here, the one who really impressed me was our libero, Camri Fischer. She dug up everything. Everybody played really well,” Troy Norris said.
Other standouts included Tana Frandsen, who had 11 digs, and Kiesa Miller, who had 14 kills.
Taylia Norris, a senior, claimed her second championship in the past two weeks. On Oct. 23, Norris represented Panguitch at the state cross-country championships and finished first in the girls’ three-mile race at Sugar House Park with a time of 19:17.4. On Saturday, Norris added another championship to her mantle by closing out the fall sports season by leading the Bobcats to a state volleyball championship.
Norris had 17 kills to lead Panguitch in the match, and also was named to the 1A Academic All-State team, along with two of her teammates — Tana Frandsen and Mataya Barney — to boot.
“I’ve dreamed of this stage for a long time, so being able to finish and have a good game my last game ever was great,” Taylia Norris said.
The Bobcats completed the volleyball state championship three-peat after winning in 2017 and 2018, and for Troy Norris, there is no better feeling.
“It’s hard to top this,” Troy Norris said.