ST. GEORGE — Emery Harrison and Lauren Larkin have much in common.
Desert Hills senior Lauren Larken, here in a file photo against Dixie, was named c0-MVP of the All Region 9 volleyball team, St. George, Utah, Oct. 31, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News
The volleyball stars shared Most Valuable Player recognition when coaches announced the All Region 9 honors last week.
Harrison, from Cedar City, led the Reds to an inspired performance at the 4A state tournament two weeks ago.
Cedar took eventual state champion Orem to a fifth set in their second-round matchup before succumbing. The Reds rebounded with wins in both matches on day two and finished fifth in state.
Larkin, from Desert Hills, and the Thunder finished third overall after falling to Green Canyon in the semifinals. And that was after winning the Region 9 title in a winner-take-all match against Cedar on the last day of the regular season.
Harrison will continue her career and will play for Utah Tech University in college. Larkin also heads to the next level, committing to play for Utah State University next year.
And they were both leaders of Red Rock Heat, a competitive club volleyball team in St. George that is proving to be a pipeline of good players, many of whom appear on the All Region 9 squad.
“Our goal is to help these players get to the next level,” Red Rock Heat club coach Robyn Fedler told St. George News.
Cedar’s Emery Harrison, in this file photo against Desert Hills, was named co-MVP of the All Region 9 volleyball team, St. George, Utah, Oct. 17, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News
Fedler has deep roots in the St. George volleyball community. She coached Dixie State University (before it became Utah Tech) for nine years.
She stepped down from that job in order to focus on helping her daughters’ volleyball careers. That evolved into coaching Red Rock Heat, which has a variety of Region 9 players in its program.
“We want to make it as competitive as possible,” Fedler said. “We want to give these kids exposure to college coaches and direct them and their parents to venues where they can get noticed.”
Six of the girls on Red Rock Heat’s 17U team will go on to play at college, Fedler said, including her daughter Paige Fedler, who has committed to play at the University of Missouri in the mighty Southeastern Conference.
Paige Fedler, just a junior, recently helped Parowan go 29-0 and win the 2A state championship.
“To have so many girls from one team, from such a small area, go on to play at college, that’s pretty cool,” Robyn Fedler said. “It says a lot about the quality of volleyball that we have out here.”
All Region 9 Girls Volleyball Team, 2023:
Co-MVPs: Emery Harrison (Cedar), Lauren Larkin (Desert Hills)
First team: Tatum Gardner and Brooklyn Wilson (Desert Hills), Abbigail Stout and Khloee Wright (Hurricane), Tehanie Waters (Crimson Cliffs), Bird Allen (Cedar), Avery Thorkelson (Snow Canyon).
Secodn team: Hallee Heath, Brooklyn Robinson and Trinity Pilimai (Desert Hills), Annalyse Shimada and Nyah Barnes (Cedar), Addison Crandall (Hurricane), Fetu Tapasa (Snow Canyon).
Honorable mention: Kiley Kearney and Kiana Howard (Hurricane), Ansley Coates (Cedar), Aubrey Olson (Snow Canyon), McKenzie Jepson (Crimson Cliffs), Ilai Mauinatu (Dixie), Lindsay Farish (Pine View).
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