“Being the first to do something is a great honor,” Xavier coach Matt Rogers said.
The state championship was held at Victory Lane Sports Park in Glendale.
“It was perfect sand volleyball weather,” Rogers said. “It was 90 degrees out, no wind, just a perfect day.”
Xavier’s duos were Natalie Braun and Mallory Miller, Abby Hornacek and Mia Teilborg, Dani Westfall and Chaney Hart, Molly Scheel and Alex Parron, and Kelly Andrew and Sarah Mackey.
“Fountain Hills wanted redemption because we beat them earlier in the season,” Rogers said. “The girls really wanted the title, and they went after it.”
One player on the team was an elite prospect in indoor volleyball. Hornacek is a senior who originally committed to Kansas for volleyball before she decided to take a scholarship at USC for sand volleyball.
“Abby is an amazing sand volleyball player and a great person as well,” Rogers said. “Her leaving and going to USC next year is a great achievement for her. She has been a great player and leader this year, and has helped many of our younger players see the future in sand volleyball.”
Xavier athletic director, Sr. Lynn Winsor, took the idea of having a sand volleyball team to the volleyball coaches. Two of them decided to volunteer and become part of history. The school found two available sand volleyball courts at the Phoenix Swim Club, which they used for free after adding new sand and new nets.
Xavier held an interest meeting where 30 girls showed up. After tryouts, 14 were selected to play.
“As an athletic director, I see this as an opportunity for more girls to be involved in ... sports on their campuses, and it will be excepted more and more,” Winsor said. “We at Xavier are proud to have been the first state champion, but even more proud that we helped open the door to more girls becoming involved in their school athletic program.”