Chanel Brown really knows how to prepare for a role. In her four years at Chandler Valley Christian, Brown pounded home more than 2,000 kills from her outside hitter position, including 881 this past fall as a senior. Not too bad for a setter.
Chanel Brown really knows how to prepare for a role. In her four years at Chandler Valley Christian, Brown pounded home more than 2,000 kills from her outside hitter position, including 881 this past fall as a senior.
Not too bad for a setter.
Brown’s stellar career at Valley Christian earned her a scholarship to the University of Florida, where she will be a setter for the Gators. But her outstanding senior season, when she played outside hitter and led her team to a 34-12 record and its first 2A state championship since 2000, earned her the Tribune’s Volleyball Player of the Year award.
“It really meant a lot to succeed in our goal of winning the state title,” said Brown, whose team lost in the semifinals the previous three years. “I’m so glad I could go out on top this year. That makes me look forward to my next step and getting to that highest level.”
Brown’s value on the court for the Trojans was as a hitter, but she played setter in club volleyball the last couple years and that appears to be a more natural position for her. All of that time training as a hitter, however, will serve Brown well in the future.
“Being a hitter first, you really understand where you like the sets and where you want the ball to be,” Brown said. “I know what my hitters want and like because I was in their shoes. I know how frustrating it is to get a ball right on the net or way off. I know where the ball needs to be.”
This year, the ball needed to be set to the 5-foot-10 Brown, who had 285 more kills than anyone in Arizona, according to stats collected on Maxpreps.com. In the 2A state championship match against Thatcher, Brown had 26 kills to lead her team to a 3-1 win.
And Brown’s totals weren’t the result of an easy schedule full of tiny 2A teams. The Trojans played 17 teams in 5A-I or 5A-II, beating 5A-II champion Horizon twice in tournaments. The Trojans also played 4A-I champion Phoenix Sunnyslope twice and 4A-II champ Seton Catholic.
“We beat a lot of teams in 5A,” Brown said. “I think our team was at that level and I would never change the experience I’ve gotten at Valley. It’s the same kind of competitiveness as all the big schools.”
ALL-TRIBUNE FIRST TEAM
Player School Yr. Pos. Comment
Betsi Metter, Desert Vista, Sr. OH All-around great player, led in kills, aces and digs
Stephanie Preach, Xavier, Sr. S Guided Gators to three straight titles; bound for ASU
Macey Gardner, Gilbert, So. OH Nearly reached 600 kills on season (590)
Chanel Brown, Valley Christian, Sr. OH Her 881 kills led team to first title since 2000
Hayley Lawless, Seton Catholic, So. MB Dominant presence in middle for back-to-back champs
Bianca Arellano, Xavier, So. OH Emerged as an offensive star; led Gators with 301 kills
ALL-TRIBUNE SECOND TEAM
Player School Yr. Pos. Comment
Talia Jones, Desert Ridge, Jr. OH East Valley Region player of the year
Bethany Jorgenson, Corona del Sol, Sr. OH Team highs in kills (395), aces (78)
Jocelyn Leichner, Desert Mtn., Jr. OH Desert Valley Region player of the year
Lexi Anderson, Horizon, So. Opp Versatile star played central role on state title run
Katarina Schulz, Xavier, So. OH Reliable attacker, had 277 kills, just 63 errors
Annalyn Sanders, Queen Creek, Jr. OH Desert Sky Region player of the year
Player of the year: Chanel Brown, Valley Christian
Coach of the year: Valorie McKenzie, Horizon. McKenzie’s Huskies had lost 16 of 27 matches before catching fire in the state tournament. Championship was her first in 29 years at the helm.
Apache Junction: Kylie Bocskay, Sr., MB; Arcadia: Liliana Fischer, Sr., S, Isabel Miller, Fr., MB; BASHA: Kehaulaniokala Baker, So., S; Madison Serrano, Jr., OH; Cactus Shadows: Summer Anderson, Jr., OH; Shan England, Jr., MB; Sarah Grothe, Sr., S; Chaparral: Krista Bennett, Jr., L; Abby Kleinsmigh, Sr., MB; Jane Steffens, Jr., S; Corona del Sol: Cassie Ronda, Sr., OH; Desert Mountain: Kayla John, Sr., OH; Shea Sorenson, Sr., S; Desert Ridge: Calie Schuldt, Sr., OH; Desert Vista: Kyle Hartman, Sr., MB; McKella Williams, Jr., OH; Gilbert: Alyssa Dwyer, Sr., MB; Panina Snuka, Fr., OH; Hamilton: Emily Helm, Sr., L; Jordyn Moody, Jr., S; Horizon: Melissa Hess, Jr., OH; Sarah McGaffin, Sr., S; Horizon Honors: Terah Fullman, Sr., L, Katie Rush, Sr., MB; McClintock: Mary Jo Kolze, Sr., S; Mesquite: Brookelyn Campbell, Sr., S; Mountain Pointe: Erika Papadeas, Jr., OH; Kristin Stephan, Sr., MB; Notre Dame: Kelly Lafferty, Sr., L, Leah Stevens, Sr., OH; Perry: Taylor Bingold, Sr., OH; Pinnacle: Amanda Hanson, Jr., MB; Paige Hoffler, Sr., OH; Morgan Richardson, Jr., S; Queen Creek: Samantha Horst, Sr., L; Saguaro: Cassie Cockhren, Sr., OH; St. Mary's: Keanna Lomelli, Jr., OH; Scottsdale Christian: Lea Bouma, Sr., MB; Seton Catholic: Lauren Betlach, So., OH, Cassie Kramer, Sr., Opp; Valley Christian: Tori Gentry, Sr., S; Kristen Johannsen, Sr., MB; Westwood: Suzanne Morris, Sr., MB; Xavier: Bridget Bohman, Jr., Opp