Salt Lake Tribune Types: Sports Published: 09/02/97 Page: D1 Keywords: Girl's Prep Volleyball Caption: Adrianne Bradley
The senior is stronger, quicker and more dominant than ever. In a tournament at Bountiful last weekend, she guided the Spartans to a straight-set win over North Sanpete as she was blocked and dug only once. She took the ball off the dig and promptly slammed it down for a kill.
Emery coach Nancy Martinez watched from the bench with a satisfied smile. ``She's the best I've ever seen,'' Martinez said. ``She moves like she's 5-foot-9 and can hit harder than anyone. She's a total package.''
She's not a secret, either. Bradley has been recruited by all of the nation's best volleyball programs. She received seven to nine letters a day from schools such as Florida and Penn State. The Bradleys have been down this road. They had to put in two phone lines to handle all the calls from recruiters.
``It was a nightmare,'' Adrianne's mother, Teresa, recalls. ``Going through that once was enough.'' This time, Adrianne and her parents took a list of 62 schools and narrowed it to 10 and then five. Bradley will visit UCLA, Hawaii, Texas A&M, Washington State and Utah.
Everyone else can stop begging. ``I wanted to stay in the West,'' Adrianne said. ``I want to go to a school with a top volleyball program that has a good atmosphere. I'm not going to make a decision until after the visits.'' Martinez said Washington State and UCLA are looking at Bradley as an outside hitter and Hawaii wants her as a middle blocker. Texas A&M and Utah just want her. Bradley doesn't care about the technicalities; she likes all the positions. Her only requirement is that she isn't expected to play basketball. It would be tempting, since she averaged 12.6 points last year for the Spartans. But volleyball is her true love and always has been.
``I remember the first time I saw her, she was in the fifth grade and hanging around the volleyball courts with her older sister [Tasha],'' Martinez said. ``I thought about running her off the court, but I didn't because I thought she might want to play on my team one day.'' When Bradley joined the Emery team two years later, Martinez paired her with outside hitter McKelle Stilson, now a freshman at Utah. ``I knew we'd win state with those two,'' Martinez said. ``Adrianne started every match and matured into a great leader. She's the best I've had.''
With Stilson gone, it's up to Bradley to provide the firepower as Emery defends its title. ``There is some pressure to repeat,'' she acknowledges. ``But we've got a good team and I hope we can do it again.'' The first goal is to win the region title. Other strong teams in Region 8 are North Sanpete and 1996 runner-up Delta. Bear River, Tooele and Morgan are the strongest teams in Region 7, which some coaches are betting will be the toughest region. The Trojans, two-time defending champs in Class 2-A, should hold their own with hitter Becca Mullen leading a strong group of returning starters. Snow Canyon seems to have the edge in Region 9, with Dixie and Pine View as other teams to watch. Snow Canyon has three strong returnees in Jodi Redfearn, Angela Shields and Kelsey Laws. Juniors Jana Bundy and Karen Barnum are new to the squad and stand 6-0 and 5-11.
``If all goes right, we should have a good chance at winning the region,'' said coach Kelly Murdock. ``We'll at least slow some teams down.'' Region 10 should be a battle between Union, Wasatch, Uintah and Lehi. Union has a solid hitter in Sarah Colton; sophomore setter Jackie Morrill could become one of the best in the state. Uintah's offense is led by Liz Cranney and sophomore setter Brooke Salazar is consistent.