Everything was happening at Snow Canyon on Thursday.
The Snow Canyon Warriors honored two families affected by breast cancer after the second set, the Snow Canyon seniors were honored before the game for Senior Night, and the legend that started the Warrior dynasty, Alaina Parker, coached her final home game.
Snow Canyon sweeping Dixie to complete an undefeated record in Region 9 was almost an afterthought.
“I didn’t think of it as the last home game until I walked into the gym and saw the posters with ‘Thanks for the Memories,’” Parker said. “These kids never let me down, and it was great to see players from previous teams come tonight, and to see that they’re good moms and good people. At the end of the day that’s what matters.”
Following the second set and after Parker honored two families affected by breast cancer, everyone in attendance then honored Parker for her illustrious career as volleyball coach at Snow Canyon High School. She’s stepping down after the state championship next week, and seemingly everyone wanted to visit with Parker after the game to offer his or her congratulations on an amazing career as coach.
The extra-curricular activities didn’t affect the Warriors, at all. They beat Dixie in three sets, 25-23, 25-12, 25-18. The team honored five seniors for Senior Night, including Jordan Plattner, Sydnie Hoskins, Nikenna Durante, Shaylee Reed and Alexsa “Crash” Parker.
“We were hoping it would be a win, especially because last year was really rough (on Senior Night),” Crash Parker said. “We talked yesterday in practice about staying calm because last year we were too emotional.”
And so the final home game in 2015 went as well as the Warriors wanted.
“It went 100 percent like we hoped,” Durante said. “Before the game we said we can’t let the emotion get in our heads, and we focused.”
Next, the Warriors play the winner of a Region 12 play-in game between Canyon View and Juab. That play-in game is likely to be completed Monday. The winner moves on to the 3A State Volleyball Championship in Orem against the defending champion Warriors.
“We have a lot of stuff to work on for State,” Alaina Parker said. “We always have changes to make to figure out where we’re the best.”
Reed said the Warriors still have business to finish.
“We’ve got a lot to work on before State,” Reed said. “We can always get better so we can go out with a bang.”
Crash Parker said passing and serving are always focuses in practice, and that should be the case when the Warriors go to practice Monday.
“We want to sharpen our game,” Durante said. “Our goal all season was that we didn’t want to peak yet and continually get better. We’re a well-rounded team, and I think we’ll do well at State.”
Dixie showed flashes of brilliance in certain areas against Snow Canyon, especially with the hitting power of DeAubrey Bowers. The Flyers were the Cinderella story of the 2014 state tournament, playing into the semifinals. It shouldn’t shock anyone if the Flyers made another Cinderella run next week.
The 3A State Volleyball Championship begins Wednesday at Utah Valley University.
Follow Richard Briggs on Twitter, @BriggsRich. Call him at 435-674-6233.