High school volleyball: 2013 Deseret News MVPs possessed more than talent in leading their teams
“Her parents are from North Sanpete, and I knew who they were,” Bailey said. “I was kind of a little embarrassed because our program wasn’t great, but I knew the whole team was very athletic.”
And when it came to the kid from Mt. Pleasant, Jessie Jorgensen, Bailey knew the first day she saw her play with the T-Birds that she would help change the program.
“She elevated the whole program,” Bailey said. “She brought an intensity to practice. We knew we were going to have something special.”
Bailey said she told her players she didn’t want a ball to ever hit the ground during practice.
“But no one really thought they could get every ball up,” she said. “I told them, ‘You never know until you try.’”
Jorgensen dove for everything. And eventually, she started getting some of those hopeless balls back in play.
“Then the girls started thinking, ‘Hey, we can really go for those and we might get them,'” Bailey said. “She just dedicated herself to every play, every ball.”
Jorgensen ran a potent offense with precision and confidence. She led the T-Birds to the 4A state title without losing a set and finished the season with 478 assists, 275 digs and 197 kills. She also had 61 aces and 55 blocks. She maintains a 3.93 GPA, is involved in numerous volunteer organizations, and was named the Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year last week. She’s signed with the University of Utah.
“It is just fun to watch her play,” Bailey said. “She is one of those players who makes you want to play volleyball.”
Malary Reid, Hurricane
Malary Reid moved to a new school her senior year after spending her junior season sidelined with a knee injury.
Her first few practices with her new coach were less than impressive.
“She was trying to adjust and to learn the speed of the game the way we like to play,” said Hurricane head coach Daniel McKeehan. “When we went and played at the Lone Peak Tournament, against Idaho, she had 15 kills. And that’s when, all of a sudden, it clicked for her. After that, she was absolutely dominant with that quick set.”
Reid’s most impressive stat is her hitting percentage — a state-leading .447 percent.
Her play in the middle gave the Tigers versatility that made them very difficult to defend. Her hitting, in particular, was tough to read because of a little quirk in her swing, McKeehan said.
“She naturally turns the ball back to the setter,” he said, noting that she has learned to make adjustments and change where she hits at will. “But that really helped her confidence seeing balls go down and down and down.”
She’s also a track athlete, which helps with her athleticism.
“She jumps extremely well,” McKeehan said. “She’s so strong, just a really strong kid.”
Reid finished with 175 kills in leading the Tigers to a second-place finish in region play and a 3A state title. It was in the final state tournament game that Hurricane swept Region 9 champion Desert Hills, a team the Tigers had lost to three times this season.
“Teams started triple blocking here, which opened things up for our other hitters,” McKeehan said. “She’s quiet, unassuming and doesn’t ever want to be in the spotlight. Malary is such a nice kid, and we have the world’s nicest girls, so they welcomed her right in. She had best friends instantly. ... She was big in the middle for us.”