Jordyn Harvey almost couldn’t believe what she heard on the phone one day in the winter of 2021.
She had dreamed of attending Stanford University since she was 9 years old. Her mother has pictures of her touring the school when she was 13.
Now, here was Cardinal volleyball head coach Kevin Hambly on the phone offering her a scholarship to her dream school to be part of one of the most dominant teams in the country.
Harvey, a senior outside hitter for the Bountiful High Redhawks, earned that offer after years of dominant performances of her own, which also resulted in her being named Deseret News Ms. Volleyball 2022.
“This season was really a culmination of four years of hard work,” Bountiful coach Sarah Chism said. “Four years of improvement, year over year, grinding it out, staying team-focused and striving to be the best that she could be for Bountiful. … It was fun to see her develop into an all-around player.”
Harvey ended her volleyball career as one of the best killers in state history. On 1,011 attempts, she racked up 480 kills in her senior season, a 47.5% kill percentage that outdid her junior season by over 6%. This was part of a career number of 1,533 kills in four years, the fifth most in state history.
Harvey hit the 1,500-kill mark in the Redhawks’ quarterfinal matchup against Timpanogos in the 5A state tournament, a match they won 3-0. The team swept 27 of its 31 matches this season, in no small part due to the trouble every team had doing battle with Harvey, Chism said.
“Jordyn, as a point scorer, is where she really makes a big difference because she demands attention every time the ball is exchanged,” Chism said. “She’s either going to score the point herself or require enough attention that it frees up some other players to make a difference. She definitely has an impact on every point that we score.”
A red balloon floated in the rafters of the fieldhouse at Bountiful High several days after drifting from the table where Harvey signed her national letter of intent to Stanford on Nov. 9. It marked the fulfillment of a goal she had going back to when she was 13 years old playing club volleyball with future teammates.
Growing up, volleyball wasn’t the immediate favorite for Harvey, but over time, she felt more like a natural at the sport than anything else, including basketball. Harvey remains a force in the gym during the winter months, scoring 13 points for the Redhawks girls’ basketball team in its season opener this year.
Bountiful’s Jordyn Harvey looks to pass during a game against Timpview at Bountiful High on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. A two-sport athlete, Harvey will play college volleyball for Stanford next year.
“I think, one day, I just woke up and I realized I enjoyed going to volleyball practice a little bit more than I liked basketball,” Harvey said. “Volleyball was more my flow. I felt like I looked cooler. I felt smoother. I felt like I looked more like a volleyball player. … Volleyball was something I saw myself doing in the future.”
To this day, the feelings Harvey has stepping onto a volleyball court are as positive as they are palpable.
“It’s like a sense of being grateful,” Harvey said. “I’m grateful that I’ve been given the body that I have. I’m grateful that I have the support from my parents and my teammates to step on the court and get better every day. Every time I step on the court, I have the thought of what I’m going to work on, what I’m going to improve, what am I’m going to fail at so that I can improve on it later.”
Stanford, well-known for its academics, requires athletes to get accepted to the school on their own abilities. For Harvey, this meant working as hard off the court as she did on it at one of the few high schools in Utah offering Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses.
“I’m not just an athlete going to a school as an athlete,” Harvey said. “I actually had to work hard as a student. It’s more meaningful to me … 13-year-old Jordyn would be super-proud.”
Harvey finished her career at Bountiful with three semifinal appearances and one 5A state title.
Bountiful’s Jordyn Harvey hits the ball against Mountain View in 5A volleyball state championship at the UCCU Center in Orem on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.
Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News