Deseret News names All-state volleyball teams

The Deseret News named their 2019 All-state volleyball teams on December 10. The teams are chosen based on coaches’ votes. Here, we highlight the players from San Juan County who were honored.


3A First Team

Ta’ssi Su’esu’e

San Juan Senior Outside Hitter – 329 Kills (led team), 272 Digs, 66 Blocks, 57 Aces

Head Coach Kelli Keyes: Ta’ssi was named region 12 MVP. In my opinion, she can read the ball better than any other player I’ve seen. That is why she’s so dominant on the net as well as a great defensive player.

Besides volleyball skills, Ta’ssi helped us all laugh and smile which was important when we were feeling tense or nervous. Even when Ta’ssi was hurt on the bench during her last senior game at state, she was a great teammate, calling spots to hit, how many blockers there were, etc.

She is the first person to cheer when another person does well. I will miss coaching her and watching her play because of her enthusiasm and the effortlessness she portrayed on the court.


3A Second Team

Whitnie Ivins

San Juan Senior Setter/Outside Hitter – 280 Digs, 187 Kills, 63 Aces (led team), 14 Blocks

Kelli Keyes: We started referring to Whitnie as our hidden gem. This was partly due to other players getting more attention, which was fine because we always had Whitnie to rely on. She is probably the most consistent player I’ve ever seen and the all-around package.

Last year she just played outside hitter, but this year she stepped up to be a setter and outside hitter. We simply couldn’t afford to lose her as a hitter. A lot of players would have had an attitude or been upset but Whitnie did what was best for the team.

Aside from volleyball skills, Whit was known as a rock for the team because she was always there, solid and constant. No matter what the situation, Whit was ready to do whatever was asked and that to me is priceless.


3A Honorable Mention

Hope Holliday

San Juan Senior Libero – 412 Digs (led team), 22 Aces, , 14 Blocks, 8 Kills

Kelli Keyes: Hope never received much recognition despite her amazing ability to dig the ball. She improved so much this year on her defense and reading the hitters. There were many games that we would have been in a lot of trouble if we didn’t have such a great libero.

Hope had some injuries during the season that probably nobody noticed because she’s dang tough and refused to let them get in her way. Aside from volleyball, Hope makes everyone smile. It doesn’t matter the situation...if Hope smiles, we all do. Plus she’s pretty dang funny.


2A Third Team

Megan Black

Monticello Senior Middle Blocker – 225 kills, 90 Percent Serving, .197 Hitting, 48 Blocks

Head Coach Tony Esplin: Megan was the heart and soul of our team – our leading hitter and leading blocker. She grew into her leadership role, specifically this year. She is naturally athletic and became more and more coachable as the years went along.

She represented Monticello very capably in the Utah Volleyball Coaches Association’s Senior All-Star Game during the second week of November.


1A Honorable Mention

Jamika Nelson

Monument Valley Senior Middle Hitter

Head Coach Vanessa Russell: Jamika is a natural athlete. She is versatile and can do everything: set, hit, block, jump serve, and dig. She could have basically played any position I put her in.

She grew into her leadership role with the team and got more comfortable as the season went along. Jamika is a strong-willed athlete who puts all her effort into every game and she does not back down.  

After she graduates from high school she wants to get a scholarship to play basketball at a junior college. 

I believe she can do whatever she sets her mind to.

San Juan Record

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