WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps' Goodyear/Surprise girls volleyball preview

Posted 9/2/21

The high school girls volleyball season began this week at schools across the state. West Valley Preps and the Goodyear and Surprise Independent asked local high school coaches about their teams. Here are their responses

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WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps' Goodyear/Surprise girls volleyball preview

Posted

The high school girls volleyball season began this week at schools across the state. West Valley Preps and the Goodyear and Surprise Independent asked local high school coaches about their teams. Here are their responses:

Estrella Foothills Wolves

Coach: Jennifer Gonzales (seventh season)
2020 Record: 11-4 (4A quarterfinals)
Region: 4A Southwest
Top returning players: We are returning Emma Barber at the outside hitter position. She is a strong six-rotation player. Aubrey Goodere and Angeles Bawek will make huge contributions again this year.  Returning to run the offense is Raegan Moran.  Sara Betts is doing well at opposite. Jazzlee Acosta is at libero and is one of the quickest defenders I have seen in a while.
Who are some of the newcomers that may have an impact this year? Alexis Kesselhon is a newcomer to varsity who will make an impact at outside hitter.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We are a team that relies heavily on our defense. We have to quickness and scrappiness to frustrate our opponents.
Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? We are looking forward to the Seton Catholic match. They took our season opener last year. They are always tough so it’s a good way to see where you are at competitively. 
What are the primary goals for this year’s team?  We want to remain healthy.We would like to take the region title again and go deep into the state bracket.

Highland Prep Honey Badgers

Coach: Jordan Scott
2020 Record: 2-3 (in CAA)
Region: 2A Independent
Top returning players: Seniors Laila Nassif and Teresa Williams will help us to guide the team this year.
Who are some of the newcomers that may have an impact this year? We have three newcomers to the team this year in Sophomore Rylee Ori and Freshmen Makayla Nunn and Skylie Rodriguez. These young ones will produce at a high level for us.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? I would say our biggest attribute this year is our work ethic.
Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? At this point, the game we are most looking forward to is our first one. We have a few playoff teams on our schedule, so we expect those teams to be pretty tough.
What are the primary goals for this year’s team? We are excited to make the leap from the CAA to the AIA this year. This season our expectation to be in the mix for the post-season.

Millennium Tigers

Coach: Julie Vastine (eighth season)
2020 Record: 19-1 (5A state champions)
Region: 5A Desert West
Top returning players: Bianca Perez and Eryn Jones
Who are some of the newcomers that may have an impact this year? Leah Mitchell, Gabbi Kucinski and Anne Brauckmiller
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our best attribute is the leadership of our returners.  Their experience and ability to be inclusive and mentor our young team is going to be a strength.  We are a young team, and having leaders on the court to embrace and encourage our younger players as they grow and adapt to a faster, more physical game.
Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? We are looking forward to playing Horizon, Cactus Shadows & Sunrise Mountain, and playing Horizon will be our toughest.
What are the primary goals for this year’s team?  Our primary goal is to be better each day.  Nearly half of our team is new to our program, so we are working to be competitive in every match we play. Clearly, we want to win, but the primary goal is to be able to step off of the court after a match, and know we did our best, and that we are improving in areas of weakness.  If we can link these days/weeks together building trust and working on our team systems, the wins will come.

Paradise Honors Panthers

Coach: William Clawson (third year)
2020 Record: 7-7
Region: 4A Southwest
Top returning players: Senior Victoria Persha and Anelise Colenzo.
Who are some of the newcomers that may have an impact this year? Three freshmen Olivia Nowotka, Jenna Ghigo and Vanessa Lobrigo.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our best attribute this year is their love for each other on and off the court. These student athletes care so much about each other and each one’s successes. They celebrate the big accomplishments as well as the small things day in and day out and it’s really inspiring.
Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? We are looking forward to some rematches against Odyssey Institute and Youngker High, both of which didn’t go our favor last time we saw them and we think we can change the wind in our sails with those teams. The toughest matches will be against Estrella Foothills in our region.
What are the primary goals for this year’s team? The primary goal this year is to capitalize on all the hard work we have put in over these past three seasons and send our seniors out with a bang.

Shadow Ridge Stallions

Coach: Joe Volkman (first season)
2020 Record: 3-12 (6A play in)
Region: 6A Southwest
Top returning players: Senior Gloria Moye, sophomore Addisyn Pohl, sophomore Kobie Fowler
Who are some of the newcomers that may have an impact this year? Junior Ashlynn Mainey, senior Khia Robinson-Adams, freshman Olivia Nelson and sophomore Emma Welborn
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? They have high energy, they play for each other, and have no quit in them
Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? Valley Vista for sure.
What are the primary goals for this year’s team? Goal is to win the region and be top 15 in the state.

Willow Canyon Wildcats

Coach: Matt Overfelt (fifth year)
2020 Record: 8-10 (5A play-in)
Region: 5A Central
Top returning players: We return six of our seven starters from last year’s team: Maliyah Spencer, Maddox Richtmyre, Tristen Turlington, Madeline Stein, Danielle Welker and Amaya Thomas. All of them were 2020 5A Central All-Region honorees.
Who are some varsity newcomers that may have an impact this year? Ketzibe Villalobos and Einy Mendez both made the jump from JV-B to varsity and are expected to see significant playing time.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Team chemistry and experience.
Which teams on this season’s schedule are you most looking forward to and will be the toughest? We are looking forward to a rematch with last year’s region champs, Independence.
What are the primary goals for this year’s team? Region championship and playoff berth.

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