Desert Vista's Brooke Honeycutt, right, has developed into one of the state's top players and expects to return the Thunder to prominence next season.

AFN File

The Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe girls volleyball programs were not satisfied with how the season finished.

The Pride went 24-9 to make the state tournament and won a match, but was eliminated in the state quarterfinals by top-seeded Mountain Ridge.

Solid, but not great.

The Thunder had some struggles throughout while playing a very difficult schedule with a junior dominated team, and was left out of the postseason.

Desert Vista (25-14) made a push at the end the year, winning seven of the last eight matches, but came up short.

While both coaches can lament some of the outcomes, they can really look at some of the individual efforts and be happy with the results.

The Pride's Brenna Wagner and the Thunder's Sydney Schumacher were All-Tribune second-team selections, while several other players from the area were named honorable mention, like Desert Vista's Brooke Honeycutt.

Schumacher was considered one of the state's top libero, and the junior defensive specialist went out and proved it.

She had a ridiculous 598 digs this season, including a season-high 43 in a five-game set against Corona del Sol.

The 5-foot-7 Schumacher also led the team with 40 aces, added 59 kills and was the team's backrow mainstay, accepting 572 serves cleanly.

Honeycutt, a 6-foot-2 junior middle blocker, was a dominant force at the net as she led the Thunder with 374 kills on a 46.6 kill percentage, and 71 blocks (35 solo) while contributing 113 digs and 20 aces.

She has received interest from several colleges, with Pepperdine possibly being the front leader.

"Brooke is a dominate force at the net on offense and defense," Thunder coach Molly West said. "She is the go-to player anytime, and crunch time. She loves the competition and plays big in tight situations."

Honeycutt has been pounding away on the opposition since she was a freshman, but now she has a presence within the team hierarchy.

"She brings a lot of energy and confidence to the court," West said. "She is steady and really doesn't get rattled. She's the player with the big smile on her face, having fun while competing.

"This year, Brooke evolved into being more of a leader and I'm excited to have her back for one more year."

Wagner, a senior outside hitter, was everything for Mountain Pointe.

She ended the year with a team-high 322 kills on a 38.5 percent kill percentage, while ranking second in digs (164), third in aces (42), and fourth in total blocks (18).

It all pales in comparison when measured against her leadership skills.

"She is just a happy kid who brings a sense of enjoyment and good chemistry to the other players," Pride coach Fred Mann said. "She is a giver and not a taker, just a natural leader. After spending four years as her coach, I have developed so much respect for her as a person. She was clearly our best player, but really there is so much more to her."

Wagner, who has a 4.6 GPA, is heading to Colorado State where she will not be continuing her career, but plans on majoring in biomedical engineering.

"There is a sense of maturity and responsibility way beyond her years," Mann said. "So many players her age are a little self-centered, not Brenna. It is amazing to me that she has been so complete of a person and athlete."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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