Tunnell, Shirley named prep volleyball Players of the Year

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                </div>  Jenna Tunnell‘s 309 kills led all players on her Desert Vista High School volleyball team, well ahead of the next closest teammate, Maggie Byrne-Quinn, who was also a senior […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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Jenna Tunnell‘s 309 kills led all players on her Desert Vista High School volleyball team, well ahead of the next closest teammate, Maggie Byrne-Quinn, who was also a senior and team captain.  Byrne-Quinn, a 5’11” middle blocker, finished the season with 226.

If you break down Tunnell’s total kills over the season, it means she contributed almost three per set.

So that made Tunnell the attack leader on a team that won the Division I state volleyball title – a good enough reason in itself to be named the azcentral volleyball Big Schools Player of the Year.  But the article by Tyler Killian announcing the award noted that “none of her numbers leap off the stat sheet, but it’s her all-around game and intangibles” that earned her the honor.

If you look a little further down the stat sheet, however, you notice that she is also second on the Desert Vista squad in total assists.  Senior setter Kirstyn Sperry led with 727 assists and Tunnell had 500.

And Tunnell was third on the list for total blocks with 87 spread over the 110 sets she played this season.

The 5’11” setter and opposite hitter who transferred in from Boulder Creek High School in Anthem and had to sit out last year in accordance with AIA rules, also finished the season with 199 digs to round out a full list of contributions that caught the eye of the selection committee.

Ohiyah Shirley, the Arizona Small Schools Player of the Year, was also a leader on a team that won a state title this year.

Monument Valley High School, a school located way up in the northeastern corner of the state on the Navajo Indian Reservation, put together a 31-2 record and captured the Division III state championship.  Shirley led her teammates in both offensive and defensive categories, recording 329 kills and 85 blocks.  Her 182 points off serve were third behind junior libero and setter Shayla Yazzie (201) and senior outside hitter Taylor Worker (187), while only two players – Yazzie and Worker – bettered her 286 digs.

But her play during the state tournament was evidently a major factor in her selection as POY. After spraining her ankle in the quarterfinals, she came back to post 41 kills and lead her team through the semifinals against Seton Catholic, and then beat Cactus High School for the crown.

Shirley, a 5’10” outside hitter who plays multiple positions for the Mustangs, is headed to Northern Arizona University next year.

The 2014 All-Arizona Team was also announced over the weekend and includes: Tunnell; outside hitter Khalia Lanier from Xavier Prep who finished with 451 kills and has committed to USC; middle hitter Preslie Anderson from Hamilton High who led the Huskies to a state semi-final appearance by recording 401 kills and a .409 hitting percentage; and libero Kameryn Hill from Gilbert High School, a repeat selection to the All-Arizona squad who posted 735 digs this year and plans to play at Loyola Marymount in California.

Rounding out the team are Maggie Byrne-Quinn, a senior middle blocker who had 96 blocks and a .354 hitting percentage for state champion Desert Vista and will play next year at Colorado School of Mines; 6’2″ outside hitter Skylar Wine who contributed 452 kills to Sunnyslope High School‘s successful run to the Division II state title; and outside hitter McKenna Woodford, the second selection from Hamilton High, who piled up 440 kills and 382 digs before heading to Washington State next year.