Brooke Blutreich timed Basha High’s kill attempt perfectly.
The Desert Vista High junior raised her arms above the net as she jumped to make contact with the ball. It fell into the sand for a point in favor of Desert Vista. Her partner, junior Taryn Ames, was immediately overcome with emotion.
“I was just immediately overwhelmed with happiness and excitement,” Ames said. “It’s an incredible feeling to know our hard work paid off. Brooke is an amazing partner and I couldn’t have done it with any other person.”
Blutreich’s block sealed the Division I pairs beach volleyball state title for Desert Vista.
“It feels awesome,” Desert Vista beach coach Rick Schapler said. “Winning a state championship takes a great deal of sacrifice, determination, hard work and positive attitudes.
“They put in the work and it paid off.”
Blutreich and Ames represented Desert Vista in the pairs tournament after a strong showing this season.
The Thunder finished 9-3 overall, and entered the team tournament as the No. 12 seed. They pushed fifth-ranked Millennium to the brink in the first round, but ultimately fell 3-2.
“We really came together this season and created an amazing chemistry between all of us girls and the coaches,” said Ames, an Arizona State beach volleyball commit. “We all worked really hard this season and helped each other be better. Coach Rick and Coach Brigita (Mazar) played also a big role in our success and drive this season.”
The chemistry Ames and Blutreich share as partners stems from their offseason work with RPM Sand, a club beach volleyball program located in Tempe and Scottsdale.
They entered the pairs tournament as the fifth-ranked team, and advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating Taylor Pope and Sydnee Broadway from Sandra Day O’Connor. They then beat Trinity Cavanaugh and Shannon Shields, who were part of the Division I team champion Xavier Prep.
Ames and Blutreich defeated top-ranked Mady Noble and Mary Shroll from Corona del Sol before beating Basha’s Haley Carrington and Sam Drewry for the title.
“Their communication and consistency is tough to beat,” Schapler said. “They understand the momentum shifts of the game and always believe they can win.”
Ames and Blutreich will celebrate their title for now, but know more hard work is ahead to defend their titles next year as seniors.
“To repeat our success as seniors next year we have to keep working really hard and training every day,” Ames said.