Cienega won the 2017 5A state championship in an epic 5-set match over Horizon Honors and the Bobcats became the first team from Southern Arizona to win a state title since 2011. Southern Arizona dominated the Division II ranks from 2005 to 2011 with six straight titles and five runner-up finishes but the shift to one division from 2012 to 2015 saw an end to championship appearances from teams from the south.
Southern Arizona was the birthplace of boys volleyball in Arizona and, as the number of schools participating in all of Arizona continued to grow, the return to two divisions made sense and it made it possible for more chances for a trophy. Cienega won in 2017, Mountain View Marana took a runner-up finish in 2019 and Cienega picked up a runner-up finish last year. The Bobcats are ranked No. 1 in the 5A Conference this year so it looks like another opportunity is possible….
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Cienega wears a team shirt dedicated to the younger brother of assistant coach Cass Shoben. Zach Shoben is a junior at Cienega and the team shirt is inscribed with, “Autism: A different way of thinking.”
Senior setter Jaden Bramhall committed to play for Tusculum University last week making him the latest player from Cienega to play at the next level over the last few years. Devin Hill graduated from Cienega in 2014 and he helped Benedictine Mesa win the 2018 NAIA national championship.
Matthew Meeker-Hackett is a freshman at Grand Canyon and McLain Mott is a junior at Concordia University Irvine. A couple more athletes from this year are also expecting offers.
— AZPreps365 (@AZPreps365) April 20, 2022
Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was 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 and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a 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, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org