West Valley Preps has selected the top volleyball players in the northwest Valley for the 2021 season.
Note these positions may not be the exact role each player was in all season but it is a position they are listed for. With so many top notch outside hitters in the West Valley, there are three on the first and third team.
The teams include:
OH — Eryn Jones, junior, Millennium
OH — Emma Barber, senior, Estrella Foothills
OH — Rylie Henige, senior, Cactus
MB — Shelby Gorospe, junior, Sunrise Mountain
S — Bianca Perez, senior, Millennium
L — Morgan Stewart, senior, Millennium
OH — Liz Rupp, senior, Deer Valley
OH — Sam Gloria, junior, Deer Valley
RS — Kylie Davey, senior, Liberty
MB — Rylee Brown, senior, Valley Vista
S — Kaelin Katena, senior, Valley Vista
L — Cayla Gaxiola, senior, Liberty
OH — Victoria Persha, senior, Paradise Honors
OH — Raeli Smith, junior, Centennial
OH — Kaitlyn Neal, senior, Liberty
MB — Maliyah Spencer, senior, Willow Canyon
S — Taryn Davis, junior, Sunrise Mountain
L — Jazzlee Acosta, junior, Estrella Foothills
Underclassmen to watch: Cactus: Rylan Gompf, Soph., DS; Dysart: Mia Fleming, Fr., OH; Estrella Foothills: Aubrey Goodere, Soph, MB; Glendale Prep: Sidney Smith, Fr., OH; Highland Prep: Brionna Blake, Soph., MB; Skylie Rodriguez, Fr., L; Ironwood: Sedona Anderson, Soph., MB; Victoria White, Soph., OH; Kellis: Renee Ward, Soph., L; Liberty: Alyssa Forelli, Soph., S/RS, Tristen Raymond, Fr., RS; Millennium: Anne Brauckmiller, Soph., OH, Talea Mitchell, Soph., MB; Mountain Ridge: Nicole Teran, Soph., MB; Northwest Christian: Alexys Ranney, Soph., OH, Vivianna Samaniego, Soph., OH; Paradise Honors: Jenna Ghigo, Fr., MB, Vanessa Lobrigo, Fr., RS; Peoria: Lorissa Guerrero, Soph., L; Shadow Ridge: Kobie Fowler, Soph., S, Addisyn Pohl, Soph., MB; Sunrise Mountain: Shelbey Schoenbeck; Fr., MB, Emily Pruitt, Soph., OH; Valley Vista: Marielle Ramos, Fr., DS; Willow Canyon: Einy Mendez, Soph., OH.
Eryn Jones, Millennium — Jones takes home this award for the second straight year, with potentially one more to go. Jones’ all-around play helped carry the Tigers youngest of their four teams in 5A to a fourth straight title game. She led Millennium with 421 kills and was second on the team with 46 blocks and third with 264 digs, showing a versatility that only teammate Bianca Perez could match.
Bianca Perez, Millennium — As you might expect, her 856 digs led the team and were ninth in the entire state. But Perez will be remembered as one of the most well rounded setters to come down the pike in the last decade. She was second on the team with 274 digs, behind only libero Stewart. She also was a key part of Millennium’s block and service games and chipped in with the occasional kill on the unsuspecting defense.
Emma Barber, Estrella Foothills — There’s something about all around players from Goodyear. Like Jones, Barber was a six-rotation outside hitter. In addition to pacing the 4A semifinalists in kills, Barber was a close second in digs and tied for second in aces. And there’s no doubt this was her team and took on her personality.
David Chavez, Valley Vista: The 6A first round bugaboo remains for the Monsoon. Every other aspect of Valley Vista’s season exceeded the program’s wildest expectations. The 23-4 overall record and No. 5 seed in 6A are benchmarks, and a surprise after star Aliyah Moore graduated and plays for Illinois State. A true team concept lifted the program to new heights and Chavez deserves credit for building this unpredictable and deep — if starless — team. Five Valley Vista players finished with between 93 and 132 kills, seven Monsoon had between 19 and 25 aces and seven more finished with between 123 and 167 digs. In a sport that celebrates specialization the Monsoon shared the wealth to an almost unprecedented degree, and Chavez said is was one of the most fun teams he’s ever coached.
Julie Vastine, Millennium — Maybe Vastine’s most challenging coaching job, certainly in the four seasons since Millennium moved to 5A. Only three rotation players returned from the 2020 state champions. Jones and Perez is an excellent foundation to start with and it helped when Stewart moved in from Tucson. But Vastine added two sophomores and a freshman to the rotation and still managed to get the No. 2 seed and outlast a talented Gilbert team in the semifinals and get back to the state finals yet again.
Anthony Puglisi, Cactus — Puglisi earns the nod for coaching the team that improved the most during the course of the season. At one point, the banged up Cobras looked likely to go on the road for a play in game. Instead the Cobras knocked off Deer Valley, earned the No. 12 seed and pulled off the biggest upset of the playoffs at Seton Catholic Prep.
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