All-Tribune First Team
Player School Yr. Pos. Comment
Cody Martin Gilbert Sr. OH EV POY led Gilbert to title
Ty Hutchins Gilbert Sr. OH The other part of the Tigers’ vaunted 1-2 punch
Saige Gonsalves Hamilton So. L Premier defender and led Huskies in aces; team MVP
Jake Nuneviller Corona del Sol Sr. S Set up Aztecs’ lethal offensive attack
Nick Benson Brophy Sr. OH Heart and soul of Broncos led team to title match
Taua Bader Hamilton Sr. OH 4.1 kills per game may have been state’s best mark
Player of the Year: Cody Martin, Gilbert
Coach of the Year: Jeff Grover, Gilbert: Favorites don’t always win titles, but Grover built up program and led Tigers to championship despite target on back.
All-Tribune Second Team
Player School Yr. Pos. Comment
Ryan Moore Perry Sr. OH Underrated star had 236 kills; headed to Lindenwood
Kevin Gorence Hamilton Sr. OH Powerful hitter for Huskies; also a skilled serve receiver
Alex Davis Corona del Sol Sr. OH Team leader in kills and big reason why Aztecs were contenders
Charlie Hualde Corona del Sol Sr. L Three-year starter led team in digs
Ryan Morrison Highland Jr. MB Had 224 kills, team-high 88 blocks for semifinalists
J.T. Hatch Mesa So. S Young star of up-and-coming Jackrabbits
Brophy: Ryan Dowd, Sr., MB; Ryne Benson, Fr., S; Chandler: Van Johanson, Sr., S; Desert Vista: Kyle Pitman, Jr., S: Marshall Rooney, Sr., MB; Dobson: Connor Rowe, Sr., OH; Gilbert: Jarrett Neal, Jr., L; Spencer Wright, Sr., MB; Hamilton: Zach Melcher, So., S; Highland: Isaac Turley, Sr., OH; Bryce Farabee, Jr. S; Mesa: Seth Johnson, So., OH; Mtn. Pointe: Agastya Pandarinath, Sr., MB; Sergio Wade, Jr., L; Mtn. View: Mark Soelberg, Sr., MB; Zach Steiner, Sr., L; Red Mtn.: Justin Park, Sr. MB; Westwood: Luke Tingey, Sr., OH; Williams Field: Tyler Wilson, Jr., OH; Spencer Newcomb, Jr., OH.
Memorable Moments from the 2012 Season
It all lines up for Gilbert: The Tigers were the preseason favorites and won several of the big tournaments throughout the year. By a stroke of luck, the semifinals and final matches were pegged to be played at Gilbert before the year began, and the Tigers took advantage of the favorable scheduling decision. The Gilbert fans packed the gym, giving the Tigers an extra boost as they defeated Hamilton in the semifinals and Brophy in the title match for the first championship in school history.
Quarterfinal upset: Highland has an illustrious history under coach Vee Hiapo, but this was a down regular season by the team’s standards. However, the Hawks found their groove in the postseason, defeating Tucson and Catalina Foothills in the first two rounds and then pulled off a big upset of No. 2 seed Corona del Sol in the quarterfinals. Highland made it to the final four before falling to Brophy in four games.
One title for all: The former two-division alignment was pared down to only one this year, causing every team in the state to aim for a singular championship. Former Division II-power Catalina Foothills was eliminated in its first postseason match, and many of the other traditional D-II contenders did not make the field. It wasn’t a huge change for the former Division I teams, but the smaller schools had a rough time competing in the new format.