OREM — The tears that come from losing the last game of the season were plenty, but the Snow Canyon Warriors showed their sportsmanship after getting swept by the Morgan Trojans on Thursday in the state championship.
After the Trojans scored the final point and slid to the floor in celebration with one another, the Warriors were quick to pick themselves up and race to the net for the final handshakes. The Warriors were sad to not win, but happy with the season they put together and congratulatory of their opponents on completing an undefeated season.
“I’m friends with players on their team,” SC senior Alexsa Parker said. “They deserved to win. They get one and we get one.”
Snow Canyon beat Morgan in the 2014 state championship.
“We had a really good season,” Parker said. “I would’ve rather won it all, but it doesn’t take away from a great year. Morgan deserved it.”
Senior Nikenna Durante talked about how much fun it was to play this year. For the 2015 Snow Canyon Warriors, the journey was the best part.
“With the team I have, the sisters I’ve gained, I have lifelong friends,” Durante said. “We had so much fun this year. We had our struggles, and it was great to overcome those together. Nobody thought we would even win region this year, let alone make it to the state championship. They thought we were done after losing so many players from last year.”
Senior Sydnie Hoskins missed a large chunk of the season while nursing an injury she suffered during the summer. She made the comeback, though, and got to be part of the team’s run to the championship game.
“We worked hard together and had a great bond,” Hoskins said. “We all have a great love for each other, and props to coach Parker for everything she taught us and a great career.”
The coaching career for head coach Alaina Parker officially comes to a close with the end of this volleyball season. She ends her career having won six state championships, all of which came in the last 10 years. But the wins and losses aren’t the most important things to her.
“I want to win kids,” Alaina Parker said. “I hope the legacy I left behind is how many kids have I won? I hope that in this program I helped bring up women with positive attitudes and great character, that they’re good moms and selfless.”
She said this particular team was the perfect one on which for her to hang up the whistle.
“This was one of the most enjoyable seasons I’ve had,” Alaina Parker said. “I’ve had bigger and more talented players, better athletes, but I wouldn’t have picked a different bunch to coach this year. They work hard and have class.”
The future Warriors have big shoes to fill, and this state championship loss showed areas where the team needs to improve, SC junior Ally Dunston said.
“We always have to look to get better and look at the small things,” Dunston said. “The small things were what did us in today, things like closing up on the block. Most teams don’t think of that.”
Dunston said the seniors on SC made big impacts on all the lives of the younger players.
“The seniors taught us that the team needs chemistry to succeed,” she said. “Our team was a family. We got along, lifted each other up and never got down on each other. These seniors were the best.”
Follow Richard Briggs on Twitter, @BriggsRich. Call him at 435-674-6233.
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOP EIGHT
2. Snow Canyon
3. Desert Hills
5. Pine View
6. North Sanpete
8. Park City