What happened a year ago didn't go as well for the Vernons or the North Summit Braves. In the opening moments of the second set, as Hunter Vernon recalls, her left knee went from active and vibrant to injured in an instant.
The injuries were more than extensive: a torn ACL and torn meniscus leading the way.
"When it first happened, I felt an initial pop in my knee when I went down," Hunter Vernon said. "I was kind of shocked at first and then the pain kind of set in.
"My older sister [Katie] actually had the same thing happen to her, so that's what came to my mind," she added. "It was, 'Oh no, I blew my knee out. What am I going to do?' And that's when the tears started coming."
With the 2015 state tourney around the corner then, there was nothing Hunter Vernon could do to help.
The Braves, with a good set of players and another hard hitter in Ashlin Blonquist, still fought their way to the semifinals before a five-game loss to Enterprise. Had Vernon been in the lineup, it's reasonable to think that North Summit could well have contended for the first-place trophy earned by Delta.
"I definitely would've like to have that one back," North Summit coach Samantha Stephens said. "I mean, you never know what was going to happen, but we did end up third without her."
For this year's Class 2A state tourney, North Summit is the top-ranked team and will open its draw against Millard on Friday afternoon.
The opening round and quarterfinals for both 2A and Class 1A will happen Friday at Utah Valley University, with the semifinals and championships on Saturday.
Class 3A will kick off this week's state volleyball tournament action in Orem on Wednesday, with its semis and title match on Thursday.
Vernon's knee isn't quite at 100 percent yet. But only a year after the blowout, Vernon has 321 kills in her junior season for the Braves.
Her road to recovery actually began full-fledged in the summer with beach volleyball. From their Coalville home, the Vernons would drive Hunter to a club volleyball team in Park City to get the knee some activity on a softer surface than hard courts.
"Her beach volleyball was very limited, but what she did do — I'm a big promoter that it's great conditioning," Lonnie Vernon said. "She had to do it in her brace, it trashed her brace, but I think it really helped."
She's got a new brace now, and Hunter Vernon supplements the equipment with a regimen of continued physical therapy — with the help of local trainers that her mother credits with the recuperation.
"I have a physical therapist that's been stretching with me the last couple of weeks to get it ready for state," Hunter said. "I've hit the year mark after my surgery and it's feeling really strong."
"She's very motivated herself to make sure she stays in shape," Stephens said. "Even after practice, she'll lift weights and do stretch-training on her own."
It may be enough to produce a different outcome this year.