Team of the Decade: Beach Volleyball

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


2012: AIA competition began with five teams in the Phoenix area. The sport was called “Sand Volleyball.”
2012: Former indoor Ironwood Ridge standout Michaela Christiaansen wins a national sand volleyball title with Pepperdine.
2016: Salpointe and Ironwood Ridge begin competition.
2016: Salpointe is the D-I runner-up under Heather Moore-Martin.
2016: Ironwood Ridge and the University of Arizona host the first-ever high school Pairs tournament in the nation called the “CatBox Classic.”
2017: Ironwood Ridge plays a full schedule and makes the playoffs.
2017: Salpointe finished in the semifinal round.
2018: Amphitheater and Canyon del Oro field teams. CDO beats Amphi on Feb. 21. Amphi wins first match March 9.
2018: The Amphitheater School District builds world-class sand courts for Amphitheater, Canyon del Oro and Ironwood Ridge.
2018: Ironwood Ridge and Salpointe to the D-I quarterfinal round.
2018: AIA starts Pairs competition at state.
2018: Salpointe’s Peyton Lewis and Abby Russell come in second place in pairs.
2018: Salpointe’s Alanna Duarte and Madison Sundholm make it to the quarterfinal round.
2019: The sport is officially called “Beach Volleyball.”
2019: Marana fields a Beach Volleyball team and wins first match on April 5.
2019: Ironwood Ridge to the D-I quarterfinals.
2019: Salpointe to the D-II semifinals.
2019: Salpointe’s Alex Parkhurst and Abby Russell are the first Pairs champions from Southern Arizona.
2019: Canyon del Oro’s Haley Bronson and Katie Call make the D-II playoffs.
2019: Ironwood Ridge and Canyon del Oro host the CatBox Classic.
2019: Alex Parkhurst earns National All-American status.
2020: Mountain View will begin play in D-I.


Pairs of the Decade
Alex Parkhurst, Salpointe
Abby Russell, Salpointe

Alex Parkhurst, Salpointe
Abby Russell, Salpointe
Peyton Lewis, Salpointe
Hannah Semon, Ironwood Ridge
Carly Lowry, Salpointe
Alanna Duarte, Salpointe
Allie Weaver, Salpointe
Jaclyn Inclán, Ironwood Ridge
Hana Stephens, Ironwood Ridge
Maggie Scheppelman, Salpointe
Arica Christensen, Salpointe
Baylie Stephens, Ironwood Ridge
Jaelyn Olsen, Ironwood Ridge
Taylor Salese, Ironwood Ridge
Alyssa Feltman, Ironwood Ridge
Sophia Gomez, Ironwood Ridge
Lauren Barberii, Ironwood Ridge
Andrea Vigil, Ironwood Ridge
Katherine Schepelmann, Salpointe
Miranda Uribe, Salpointe
Jacqueline Gomez, Ironwood Ridge
Morgan Smith, Ironwood Ridge
Haley Bronson, Canyon del Oro
Katie Call, Canyon del Oro
Madison Sundholm, Salpointe
Hiliana Mizner, Salpointe
Andrea Owens, Salpointe
Morgan Gappmayer, Ironwood Ridge
Sarah Semon, Ironwood Ridge
Breanna Boch, Ironwood Ridge
Zelaya Loop, Canyon del Oro
Brianna Tovar, Canyon del Oro


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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