The high school girls volleyball season began a month ago.
West Valley Preps and Peoria Independent asked local high school coaches about their teams and how things are going so far. Here are their responses.
Coach: Reagan Leonard (First season)
2021 Record: 16-12 (5A first round)
2022 Record so far: 8-6
Region: 5A Northwest
Top returning players: My returning players are Raeli Smith, Aspen Krumpos, Skye Jelovic, Payton Whalen and Kaylee Bayer.
Who are some of the newcomers that may have an impact this year? Freshman Alex Thompson and sophomore Sydnee Smith.
What is your team’s best attribute this season? Our team’s best attribute is their willingness to learn. They come to practice every day wanting to learn and be at their best.
Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? I am looking forward to playing Sunrise Mountain, Ironwood, and I cannot wait to play in the first ever Millenium tournament this year. The tournament (Oct. 14-15) is going to have a lot of the best teams from the state, and it is going to be great competition for us.
What are the primary goals for this year’s team? The primary goal for our team this year is to enjoy playing volleyball together. We have a lot of seniors, and we want this to be a great year that they can remember when looking back. We are also trying to build a strong culture that will be there for years to come. We have a great group of kids, and we would not want to do this with anyone else.
Coach: Chris Brown (first year)
2021 Record: 17-11 (6A quarterfinals)
2022 Record so far: 12-3
Region: 6A Desert Valley
Top returning players: Ellie Trimble, junior, OH; Alyssa Forelli, junior, S; Maggie Newbern, senior, L/DS; Tristen Raymond, sophomore, RS/S.
Who are some varsity newcomers that may have an impact this year Makenna Kowren, freshman, RS; Ella Petcu, sophomore, L/DS
What is your team’s best attribute this season? From day 1, this team has been a cohesive unit. They’ve bought into what myself and the coaching staff are preaching and just want to progress each day. They come in the gym, put the work in, and they play with a certain joy and energy that’s infectious.
Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? Away vs Corona Del Sol, Sept 28. O’Connor, away on Sept 29 and home on Oct 20.
What are the primary goals for this year’s team? Become a top four team in the state. Progress day by day, match by match.
Sunrise Mountain junior middle hitter Shelby Gorospe hits a kill past the block of Centennial senior middle blocker Milah Dossie during a Oct. 7, 2021 match at Sunrise Mountain. [Richard Smith/West Valley Preps]
Coach: Brandi Jans (4th year)
2021 Record: 24-10 (5A quarterfinals)
2022 Record so far: 6-2
Region: 5A Northwest
Top returning players: Our top returning players are Shelby Gorospe, Taryn Davis, Emily Pruitt and Sophia Cortisio.
Who are some of the newcomers that may have an impact this year? Newcomers - Freshman setter Lily Rolfes who is well beyond her years in her decision making as well as her leadership on the court.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our best attribute is our leadership on the court and diverse athletes.
Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? The toughest teams on our schedule are Millennium and Liberty, which we have played both so far. We lost in 3 but both games were very evenly matched.
Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? Our primary goals for this year is for the girls to play as a team and to be disciplined enough to make it to the state championship. We have the talent, we just need to take it one day at a time.