Women’s volleyball: Catalina Foothills vs. Tucson to start the season

Ava Pritz ready to tune Mercedes Martinez. (Andy Morales / AllSportsTucson)

Catalina Foothills only played 10 games last fall in a season fraught with COVID concerns and complications. The Falcons managed to play it all out to qualify for the playoffs for just the second time since 2016, only to lose it all thanks to a few positive cases that resulted in a forfeit for Canyon View in a very winnable home game.

6ft 2in senior Lauren Rumel Still dominated at net last fall and she took home All-Southern Arizona first-team honors days after announcing her commitment to play indoor volleyball for the University of Arizona with an outside shot from also playing at the beach for the Wildcats. Rumel had an incredible junior year in those 10 games with over six kills per set and she hit that mark on Tuesday night at home against Tucson High.

Rumel tallied 12 kills in a sweep against the Badgers (25-9, 25-12, 25-8) while resting in the third set in favor of his teammates’ playing experience in the opener of the ‘year. Senior journeyman Ava pritz distributed 28 assists in the victory while collecting five aces. Senior Ella Parsons added seven wins.


Tucson was led by the juniors away Aquarine Thomas and second year setters Noelani Valencia and Ruthie wnek. The Badgers advance to the preliminaries under the guidance of the first-year head coach Keira perkins last fall and the program is hoping to reach the playoffs again despite having just three seniors with an intimidating schedule that includes all of Southern Arizona’s top teams with a shot at playing the state champion. 4A Salpointe at the TUSD Invitational which will take place this Friday and Saturday at the Badger gymnasium.

“We have a very young team this year with Aquarina at the helm and I think we will have a great year, we just played an amazing team here tonight,” said Perkins. “We invited 16 of the best teams to come and play in our gym this week including Foothills and as you’ve seen we have things to work on but in a way that was the best thing. that could happen to us because it helps us learn that early in the season.


The Badgers will travel to play at Sunnyside on Wednesday night and Catalina Foothills are expected to host the Lancers the same night. The Falcons will also participate in the Tanque Verde Hawks Invitational in late September and the Badgers will travel to Phoenix to participate in the Goldwater Volleyball Festival.


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the best high school journalist in 2014, he received the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a winner of the AZ Education News award 2019 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach. for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about beach volleyball and high school wrestling. His own children have won several state high school championships and have been named to all-state teams. Participating in high school hockey, basketball, baseball and track and field, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member for the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing Arizona’s best soccer player, and he has been nominated Local hero by Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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