The boys volleyball programs in Ahwatukee Foothills have had better seasons.
Desert Vista had an up-and-down season before winning two postseason matches, while Mountain Pointe struggled for a playoff berth before being knocked out by the Thunder in the first round.
There was, however, some top talent on the court.
Four area players received All-Tribune Honorable Mention honors.
The Thunder had senior middle blocker Marshall Rooney and junior setter Kyle Pitman selected, while the Pride had senior middle blocker Agastya Pandarinath and junior libero Sergio Wade singled out.
The 6-foot-2 Rooney led the Thunder in kills and has some big matches this season, but none was bigger than when he had 24 kills against Mountain Pointe on March 8.
Pitman, who is also one of the Thunder’s top basketball players, run the Thunder offense and has a great feel for the game and Thunder coach Ryan Tolman is ready to see if Pitman can reach another level in 2013.
“Pitman is going to be a seasoned senior next and he’s really seen it all,” Tolman said after losing to Brophy in the state quarterfinals. “We are really going to lean on him next year and hopefully we can reach the next level.”
The Pride had a very uncharacteristic season, going 14-20, but the one constant was the 6-foot-3 Pandarinath creating havoc for the opposition.
And when they needed a big play in the back row, Wade usually came up with the big dig to set the offense in motion.
“They deserve this honor,” Mountain Pointe coach Fred Mann said, “They drove our team.”
Mann said Wade lives and breathes volleyball.
“Sergio is a gym rat and wants to get better every day,” Mann said. “If we practiced until midnight he would be there working hard the entire time.”
Pandarinath’s development was fun to watch for Mann.
“When he was a sophomore he was introverted and shy,” Mann said. “This year his personality really opened up on and off the court. He got much better over the years on the court, but what I enjoyed the most was watching him develop as a person.”
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