Lady Trojans claim 25th consecutive region title
By Liisa London Mecham
For the 25th consecutive year, the Morgan High School Lady Trojans have claimed the region title! Over the 25 years, Morgan’s competitors in the region as well as the region number have changed several times, but the Lady Trojans have prevailed as the champions each year with Coach Liz Wiscombe at the helm. Led by seven talented seniors, the 2017 team went undefeated in Region 13 play to claim their title.
“This year brought us some different competitors in region, but the kids played hard and kept up the Morgan volleyball tradition. I am proud of them. Our final region game was at Judge Memorial on Tuesday, and they had a great crowd out. It was a loud game, a fun environment and the girls played well,” Coach Liz Wiscombe commented.
Against Judge Memorial, the Lady Trojans swept the Bulldogs 3-0. Morgan wrapped up their regular season Wednesday with a 3-0 win (25-17, 25-21, 25-23) over 5A Skyline at their annual Pink Night in Salt Lake. Morgan hosted their own Pink Night on Tuesday, Oct. 10 in a game against South Summit.
“I love Pink Night,” Coach Wiscombe commented. “It is so awesome to see the community support this worthy cause. We are so thankful for all of those who donated, all of those who came. We are so grateful for everyone’s generosity. It is truly a special night!”
The volleyball team opened Pink Night by honoring the family of Sherie Porter Wright—the woman who brought Pink Night to Morgan. She was a huge fan and supporter of MHS Volleyball, a dedicated friend to all, and her amazing life was cut short by cancer. Next, the grandparents of Ava Woodward, an 8-year-old from the South Summit community who is also battling cancer, were honored and presented with a volleyball.
In addition to watching a great volleyball game between Morgan and South Summit, both who wore bright pink jerseys, fans could bid on silent auction items, specially made quilts and signed volleyballs; all to raise money for breast cancer research through the Swing for Life Foundation at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
The always popular “Pink Parade” drew over 30 participants who were decked out in as much pink as they could possibly parade. The pink treat station provided pink confections for every palate.
Morgan opened the Pink Night game strongly against the ‘Cats, but South Summit fought back and held the lead through most of the third game, before the Lady Trojans were able to come together for the win, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22. Marcie Jo Stapley led the team with 22 kills and 100 percent serving while Hannah Farr served 18 points during the match, returned 21 serves and dug 17 balls. Through the game, several lengthy rallies demonstrated the offensive power and defensive toughness of both teams.
On Oct. 6-7, Morgan played in the Claim Jumper Tournament at Bingham High. Several of the top schools in Utah and Idaho make this a great opportunity to play against tough competition and improve skill level going in to the final weeks of the season.
At the tournament Morgan won all of their early rounds, but fell to 4A Skyview from Nampa, Idaho, in the semi-final match. Their 2-0 loss (14-25, 22-25) to Skyview shuttled them into the third-place game against a Bountiful team looking for redemption after the Lady Braves loss 1-3 in Morgan on Sept. 19. Unfortunately, the Lady Trojans were unable to get past Bountiful for a second time in the season and fell 2-1 (25-16, 13-25, 14-16) to the defending 5A state champions to claim fourth place for the tournament. “We had some great games at the Claim Jumper. Skyview (ID) has a very solid team. They played well and just did a good job against us,” Coach Wiscombe explained.
Morgan’s senior players and managers, Paige Gleason and Kayden Jorgensen, along with all of their parents, were honored at the final home game on Thursday, Oct. 12. Seniors Marci Jo Stapley, Hannah Farr, Beth Pobanz, Dani Wortman, Kendall Sommers, Baylee Loertscher and Brooke Loertscher presented Coach Wiscombe with a unique gift: a signed piece of the old gym floor that was removed earlier this summer. This special part of the floor contained the hinged floor plates that have held volleyball standards and nets in the gym for decades.
The 24-4 Lady Trojans are looking poised and ready to begin their quest for the 2017 state title. “We love to go to state,” Coach Wiscombe shared. “It is great to go and have good competition.”
The tournament will begin next Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Utah Valley University and wrap up with the championship game at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. Morgan’s opening game will be at 9 am against Carbon. If the Lady Trojans win their opening game on Wednesday, they will advance to the 12:00 (noon) game on the same day and another win for Morgan would have them play at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday. A loss in any of the games will change the match times. A bracket from the tournament can be found on the Utah High School Activities Association website www.uhsaa.org.
Congratulations to the Lady Trojans on the 25th Region title and best of luck to them as they head off to the state tournament!
Lady Trojans claim 25th consecutive region title