Player of the Year fi­nal­ists

The Arizona Republic - - High Schools - Ky­nan Mar­lin and Brit­tany Bowyer

Ka­maile Hi­apo, Sky­line

Ka­maile Hi­apo not only leads Ari­zona with 847 kills on the sea­son, she is sixth place na­tion­ally for her vi­cious at­tack­ing. The Univer­sity of Ari­zona com­mit also leads Sky­line high school in digs with 511 on the sea­son and serves re­ceived with 1,031. Ari­zona coach Dave Ru­bio called Hi­apo an elite prospect, stat­ing he be­lieves she is, “the best vol­ley­ball player in the state of Ari­zona.”

Ni­cole Hoff, Mil­len­nium

Se­nior Ni­cole Hoff fin­ished her fi­nal sea­son strong as the team went nearly un­de­feated, won a state cham­pi­onship and led her team in digs. Not only did she lead her team but Hoff was sec­ond in the state with 835 digs. Hoff played a crit­i­cal role Mil­len­nium's dom­i­nant sea­son this year.

Rae­gan Hope, North­west Chris­tian

Sopho­more Rae­gan Hope helped lift North­west Chris­tian Acad­emy to a state ti­tle this year thanks to her stel­lar per­for­mance on the court. Her stats landed her among the best this year, rank­ing 5th over­all in the state for kills with 513 and 4th over­all in the state for her .372 hit­ting per­cent­age. With two years still re­main­ing, it’s pos­si­ble to see this Univer­sity of Ore­gon com­mit be­come the state’s best player.

Taylor Ja­cob­sen, Hamilton

Se­nior Taylor Ja­cob­sen had a phe­nom­e­nal sea­son for Chan­dler Hamilton, lead­ing the team in kills with 413 on the sea­son. The fu­ture NAU Lum­ber­jack also was sec­ond on the team for serv­ing aces with 43 and digs with 376 and third over­all in to­tal blocks with 73.

Mykenna Nel­son, Green­way

Se­nior Mykenna Nel­son played a piv­otal role in Green­way’s state cham­pi­onship win­ning sea­son. An ag­ile player, Nel­son led her team this sea­son with 325 kills, 79 aces and 333 digs. The four-year var­sity player had per­haps the most out­stand­ing per­for­mance dur­ing the 4A play­offs and a dom­i­nant show­ing in the fi­nals against Tuc­son’s Sal­pointe Catholic, show­ing why she’s com­mit­ted to play for Ore­gon State.

Lau­ren Oh­linger, Scotts­dale Chris­tian

Se­nior Lau­ren Oh­linger helped lead Scotts­dale Chris­tian Acad­emy to its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive state ti­tle. At 6-foot-2, her height and agility def­i­nitely showed on the court with 413 kills on the sea­son and 247 digs. The Boise State com­mit also lead her team in aces with 69.

Shan­non Shields, Xavier

Se­nior Shan­non Shields was named the 6A Premier re­gion player of the year for her con­sis­tency on the court, which helped lead Xavier to yet an­other state ti­tle. Shields led the team in as­sists, and is sec­ond in serv­ing aces for the Ga­tors. Al­though she didn’t steal the spot­light in the 6A state cham­pi­onships, she still had an im­por­tant role when it came to lift­ing the Ga­tors to vic­tory. Shields is com­mit­ted to play vol­ley­ball for the Univer­sity of Louisville.

Jazmyn Wheeler, Sun­nys­lope

Se­nior Jazmyn Wheeler helped Sun­nys­lope re­turn to an­other state cham­pi­onship ap­pear­ance with her out­stand­ing per­for­mance through­out the sea­son. Wheeler was sec­ond in the state for her hit­ting per­cent­age (37.7), she led her team for at­tacks with 464 kills this sea­son and serves re­ceived with 427.

Coach of the year: Mil­len­nium coach Julie Vas­tine

Coach Vas­tine led the Tigers to a 45-1 over­all record and the school’s first-ever vol­ley­ball state ti­tle. The Amer­i­can Vol­ley­ball Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion named Vas­tine as the Re­gion 9 coach of the year for her team’s stel­lar per­for­mance on the court. Un­der her di­rec­tion, Mil­len­nium Vol­ley­ball climbed all the way up to the num­ber 4 rank for MaxPrep’s Xcel­lent Top 25 Writer’s poll. Also con­sid­ered: La­mar-Renee Bryant - Xavier coach Ben Max­field - Corona Del Sol coach Am­ber LeTarte - Sun­nys­lope coach

Hon­or­able men­tion

Becca Morse, Tempe Corona Del Sol Se­dona Sher­man, Goodyear Mil­len­nium

Ash­ley An­to­niak, Goodyear Mil­len­nium

Ta­tum Par­rott, Phoenix Green­way Grace Doyle, Gil­bert Perry Made­lyn No­ble, Tempe Corona del Sol

Bri­ana McKnight, Phoenix Xavier

Prep

Lau­ren Hess, Buck­eye Odyssey

How they were se­lected

The fi­nal­ists for girls vol­ley­ball player of the year were cho­sen by the az­cen­tral sports high school sports re­porters, us­ing per­sonal ob­ser­va­tions and in­ter­views with play­ers and coaches as well as statis­tics and rank­ings.

az­cen­tral Sports Awards re­turn in June

The az­cen­tral Sports Awards rec­og­nizes and hon­ors the top ath­letic ac­com­plish­ments in Ari­zona high school sports. This event is hosted by az­cen­tral and will take place June 9 at ASU Gam­mage. The show fea­tures var­i­ous awards, con­tests and a spe­cial ap­pear­ance from a celebrity guest (TBA). To nom­i­nate an out­stand­ing stu­dent-ath­lete in your com­mu­nity, click here and tell us all about him or her. Tick­ets go on sale on Dec. 17.

From left: Lau­ren Oh­linger of Scotts­dale Chris­tian, Mykenna Nel­son of Green­way, Ni­cole Hoff of Mil­len­nium, Rae­gan Hope of North­west Chris­tian, Jazmyn Wheeler of Sun­nys­lope, Shan­non Shields of Xavier, Taylor Ja­cob­sen of Hamilton and Ka­maile Hi­apo of Sky­line are fi­nal­ists for the az­cen­tral Sports Awards Girls High School Vol­ley­ball Player of the Year. MICHAEL CHOW/THE REPUB­LIC

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