Cienega to compete in Beach Volleyball

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

The AIA Executive Board approved a motion to increase the number of pairs at state competition from 16 to 24 due to an increase of teams to draw from. Division I went from 40 teams to 42 teams with the addition of McClintock and Cienega and D-II went from 36 to 38 with the addition of Arete Prep and Desert Heights Prep.

Cienega hired former Tombstone standout Melinda Escarcega to lead the program. Escarcega teaches at Cienega and she won almost $54,000 in cash and prizes on Wheel of Fortune. McClintock hired former ASU standout Whitney Follette who is also a volunteer assistant coach with the Sun Devils….


…Salpointe standouts Brandy Kishbaugh (UNC Asheville) and Andrea Owens (North Texas) took second in D-II action last spring. Current University of Arizona standouts Alex Parkhurst and Abby Russell won the D-II title in 2019 for Salpointe and Russell and Peyton Lewis took second in D-I play in 2018. Russell is the only player in Arizona history to appear in two state pair championship matches.


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, 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 and he earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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