As far as power teams go, it was a battle one would expect to be played out on the indoor volleyball courts, but Northwest Christian and Salpointe Catholic met Thursday evening on a beach located at the foothills of San Tan Mountain to decide the top Division II Pairs in the state and it didn’t disappoint.
McKenzie Wise and Reagan Hope came away with a 2-0 victory over Brandy Kishbaugh and Andrea Owens to give the Crusaders their first taste of victory in the relatively new high school sport of Beach Volleyball but Northwest Christian has had plenty of success indoors with 14 state championships, including the last three 3A titles under head coach Jenna Hope.
As one would guess, Reagan is the daughter of her head coach and the 6-foot-2 standout committed to play for Oregon as a freshman and Wise is headed to Grand Canyon as an outside hitter. Wise has more experience on the beach but the newly-minted state champions have played together since they were 12.
Likewise, Owens and Kishbaugh have known each other for a few years but various injuries this spring prevented the pair from fully developing as a force and that’s scary in itself considering the top-ranked pair at the D-II level helped lead the Lancers to their first team championship in beach play one week ago and then took No. 3 Wise and Hope to the limit at Casteel High School on Thursday….
LINK: STORY AT AZPREPS365
D-II BEACH VOLLEYBALL PAIRS AT CASTEEL
TUESDAY, MAY 18
No. 1 Brandy Kishbaugh/Andrea Owens (Salpointe) over G. Abrams/M. Kohoutek (Fountain Hills), (19-21, 21-20, 15-8)
Katie Call/Morgan Hains (CDO) over A. Mancilla/A. Acosta (Desert Edge), (21-19, 18-21, 15-11)
No. 1 Brandy Kishbaugh/Andrea Owens (Salpointe) over A. Howard/A. Dunn (Deer Valley), (21-18, 21-10)
Katie Call/Morgan Hains (CDO) over No. 4 B. Parker/R. Curtis (Coconino), (14-21, 21-18, 15-8)
THURSDAY, MAY 20
No. 1 Brandy Kishbaugh/Andrea Owens (Salpointe) over Katie Call/Morgan Hains (CDO), (21-11, 21-9)
THURSDAY, MAY 20
McKenzie Wise/Reagan Hope (NW Christian) over No. 1 Brandy Kishbaugh/Andrea Owens (Salpointe), (22-20, 21-17)
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 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org