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Draper Journal

CCHS volleyball overcome losses to place sixth at state

Dec 02, 2022 12:54PM ● By Catherine Garrett

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

This summer, a member of the Corner Canyon High School volleyball program suffered a personal loss. Senior Brinn Nichols’ dad, Cameron, passed away in June so the team came together. The Chargers dedicated the 2022 season to Cameron Nichols and wore a green ribbon—Cameron’s favorite color—in their hair or tied to their shoes each match. The squad also participated in a “Kills for Cancer” fundraiser and raised $1,200 for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, receiving $10 for each kill during a tournament.

After a second-round loss to Bingham at the 6A state championships Nov. 3 at Utah Valley University, the CCHS team again huddled together. “After that tough loss, we set a goal to play together and finish strong,” said head coach Mindy Ricks. “The girls worked together and won the consolation bracket, beating Riverton, Hunter and Davis, not losing a single set.”

That string of straight-set wins—25-14, 25-14, 25-19 over Riverton; 25-17, 25-15, 25-19 over Hunter; and 25-13, 25-20, 25-22 over Davis—as well as a first-round victory over Fremont 25-14, 25-16, 25-15 all helped bring the Chargers to a sixth-place finish to end a 19-15 season.

“The team this year was awesome,” Ricks said. “We made a lot of changes and ran a much faster offensive system. It took some time to adjust but the girls worked hard and put in the work.”

Corner Canyon was led by junior captain Elli Mortensen who was the state leader in 6A with 584 kills. She eclipsed the 1,000 career kills mark late in the season and was also among the top players in the state in blocks, hitting percentage and aces. Senior captain Mia Smith “also made a huge impact on our team,” according to Ricks, as she stuffed nearly 100 blocks this season, which was third in the 6A ranks, and served up 73 aces.

Senior captain Mia Palmer was also an integral part of the team this season, which also included

Maicyn Allan, Kathryn Armendariz, Eleanor Baetz, Jules Barber, Halle Bills, Brielle Bodily, Shannon Bond, Addilyn Brown, Sadie Brown, Kenlee Burt, Avery Clark, Kyra Curtis, Ava Engh, Avery Finley, Paige Frohman, Kam George, Bella Good, Ember Hunt, Stefanie Hunt, Saryn Kirkham, Faith Kittle, Kallee Klingler, Sasha Krull, Tori Miller, Bella Morgan, Madi Newbold, Kaitlyn O’Connell, Ella Quercia, Gracie Sneddon, Brooke Stauffer, Libby Taylor, Millie VanHorn, Elyse Wakumoto, Paige Wakumoto, Tess Walker and Maya Yrungary.

Ricks was assisted on the coaching staff this season by Nina Mortensen, Michael Burke, Joy Pinedo, Sara Kane, Olivia Younger and Brooke Larsen.

Off the court, Corner Canyon excelled academically as well, winning the 6A Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association state championship by having the highest team GPA in the state.

“These are some of the hardest working athletes,” Ricks said. “I am so lucky to work with amazing athletes and coaches and have a great community supporting us and helping these girls meet their goals.”