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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona • Page 164

Arizona Republici
Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

12 Tl 1URS0AY, MAKCI 1 3, 2005 5 Tiie Gilbebt Republic Sports 5 TO WATCH 4 Hawks' talent could take title Gilbert district volleyball teams look ahead to challenging season n4 depth and talent. Highland has five players that can fill each position. The Hawks played as a club team during the summer and finished second in a state tournament to a team made up of players from three Tucson high schools. Highland's front lineup will be intimidating. The 6-foot-l Tanner is an All-State player.

Assistant coach Brian Hiapo said the 6-foot-5 Johnson will A I I I I 11 v- B.J. Hiapo Highland Senior tetter Hailed as the best setter in the state, Hiapo is Highland's unquestioned leader. Not only is he the team's best playmaker, at 6 feet 2, he is also its best blocker. He also has an excellent jump serve. But Hiapo's main strength is setting, distributing the ball with ease.

Kevin Hoick Gilbert Senior tetter If Hiapo is the state's best setter, Hoick is not far behind. Like Hiapo, Hoick is a big-time blocker and jump server. He is the team's best at every position. He brings heady leadership and smart play to the court, where he practically lives. Coach Jeff Grover said the team's captain "has a volleyball attitude and is all volleyball." Scott Duncan Mesquite Junior middle blocker Duncan is a starter on a club team that is ranked in the top 10 in the country.

Mesquite coach Gary Durrett said Duncan will "be huge in the middle. Here's a kid who is 6-foot-5, athletic, quick and very strong." He is one of the state's best defensive players at the net. Wade Tanner Highland Senior outside hittermiddle blocker Tanner is so versatile that Highland coaches don't know where to put him. He can set, but Hiapo is already at that spot. Tanner can play middle blocker but 6-foot-5 Bryce Johnson and Patrick Law are at that spot.

So Tanner will have to settle for outside hitter, just another position where he can dominate. After Hiapo, Tanner is the team's most experienced player. Aaron McDaniel Desert Ridge Junior outside hitter McDaniel is the Jaguars' most experienced and best all-around player. The team will rely on him to lead the 3-year-old program to its best season. He can play anywhere on the court on the back row to provide defense or at the net to provide offense.

Desert Ridge coach Justin Sherrill expects McDaniel to lead the team in kills "by far." dominate and the 6-foot-l Barry has a "phenomenal vertical" leap. Mesquite Wildcats Coach: Gary Durrett HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS 2-DAY PLANNER TODAY Baseball Desert Ridge at Hi-gley Tournament. Mountain Pointe at Gilbert, 3:45 p.m. Highland at Marcos de Niza, 3:45 p.m. Boys tennis All matches at 3:30 p.

nil Desert Ridge at Sa-guaro. Gilbert at Hamilton. Highland at Mes-quite. Boys volleyball All matches at 5:15 p.m. Desert Ridge at Sandra Day O'Connor.

Ironwood at Gilbert. Mountain Pointe at Mesquite. Highland at Red Mountain. Girls tennis All matches at 3:30 p.m. Saguaro at Desert Ridge.

Hamilton at Gilbert. Mesquite at Highland. Softball Desert Ridge at Hi-gley Tournament. Track Higley at Queen Creek Invitational. FRIDAY Baseball Desert Ridge at Higley Tournament.

Gilbert, Highland, Mesquite at Scottsdale Invitational. Boys volleyball Hamilton at Highland, 5:15 p.m. Softball Desert Ridge at Higley Tournament. Track Higley at Queen Creek Invitational. Mesquite at Paradise Relays.

Youth baseball The Gilbert Storm Baseball Club is looking for players for 14-and-younger tournament and scrimmage teams. Gilbert-area players 13 or 14 can contact Dave at Storml3u WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU Do you have a story idea? An event you want to publicize? News about a local team or athlete? Send an e-mail to or call (602) 444-7993. (third). Last year's record: 20-11.

Desert Ridge Jaguars Coach: Justin Sherrill (first season). Last year's record: 4-15. Key players: Aaron McDaniel, outside hitter; D.J. Stenberg, setter; Victor DeStefano, outside hitter; Ishmael Perez, defensive specialist. Outlook: The Jaguars are more athletic than last year's team that finished sixth in the Fiesta Region and missed the state tournament.

Sherrill said he is confident his team can get past the second round of state this year. McDaniel leads a front line that can bring power. Sherrill said if they can refine their defense and passing, the Jaguars have the athletes to put the ball away. Gilbert Tigers Coach: Jeff Grover (seventh). Last year's record: 17-13.

Key players: Kevin Hoick, setter; Austin Rohner, outside hitter; Jason Baldwin, outside hitter; Michael Neilson, middle blocker; Jared Minson, opposite. Outlook: The Tigers have four senior starters back from a team that tied for second in the region with Mesquite and advanced to the second round of the state tournament. Molck, Baldwin and Neilson have been varsity starters since their sophomore years. Hoick is a quality all-around player. Baldwin is a big jumper and hitter.

Neilson has the arm length and the timing to become one of the state's best blockers. Highland Hawks Coach: Vee Hiapo (fourth). Last year's record: 36-1. Key players: B.J. Hiapo, setter; Bryce Johnson, middle blocker; Tyson Barry, outside hitter; Wade Tanner, outside hittermiddle blocker; Patrick Law, middle blocker.

Outlook: The Hawks are favored to successfully defend their state championship with the coach's son, B.J., leading the way. The Hawks can suffocate opponents with Key players: Scott Duncan, middle blocker; Jaren Knighton, opposite; Rusty Durrett, setter; Fielding Sarger, middle blocker; T.J. Packard, outside hitter. Outlook: The Wildcats are a junior-heavy team with two returning starters. Along with the players above, junior outside hitter Sam Dodini will make big contributions.

Durrett is capable of handling full-time starting duties at setter, a spot vacated by his All-State brother Kellan, who graduated. The 6-foot-5 Duncan is arguably the region's best middle blocker. Even though Mesquite's juniors are talented, they're inexperienced. Only Duncan and Durrett received significant playing time. The Wildcats aren't as powerful on offense as last year's team but will have chances to develop one because of a strong defense.

Michael ChowThe Arizona Republic Highland's J. Hiapo sets the ball during a warmup before a match this week. SPRUNG UOUOPATBOW r- upTo(JI)OFF -pf' I BBQ Island Spa's, Path Furniture, Grills, I could have JF Island Accessories 7mm SPA wCD Player ISLAND starting from PACKAGES starting from $1099 1 1. 0 of them! BURMUDA ISLAND BBQ -Phillip P. ol Phoenix, sold AC-Cooler I ISLAND PACKAGE 3 Burner Stainless Steel Grill, Stainless Fridge, Sideburner Access Door, Standard Tile.

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