Leading Edge Academy Volleyball

From left: Hayley Foster, Emilee Vukovich, Madison Herfurth, Amaya Downey, Hazel Casteel, Anna Pena, Brooke Romero, Kaydence Miller, Sophia Krug, Marisol Aranda, Rayna Smith, Coach Carla Howard. Not Pictured: Kaylee Richardson.

The Leading Edge Academy Gilbert Early College junior high girls volleyball team has ended the 2019 season with yet another state title.

The Lady Spartans won the 2019 Canyon Athletic Association Junior High Girls Volleyball Division 1 State Championship on Saturday, Oct. 19, defeating Val Vista Academy 2-1. It’s the second title in three years for Leading Edge Academy’s junior high girls volleyball program, as it finished the season with an overall record of 12-4.

“I am happy for our girls and our program to compete and win a state championship,” said Erik Gray, the athletic director at Leading Edge Academy. “I know many of these girls have seen the accomplishments that our volleyball program has had over the years and have worked extremely hard to achieve this level of success.

“Their hard work paid off and they deserve to be called state champions.”

The win over Val Vista Academy for the Lady Spartans avenged a loss they suffered earlier in the season.

Hayley Foster, a seventh grader at Leading Edge Academy, led the team this season with her play on the court. She was recognized as the tournament’s most outstanding player. Emilee Vukovich, Marisol Aranda, Anna Pena, Madison Herfurth and Rayna Smith, among others, also contributed to the Lady Spartans success and championship win this season.

There are 85 schools that compete in volleyball in the Canyon Athletic Association, with three total divisions. Junior high girls volleyball is one of four middle school sports offered at Leading Edge in the fall, including boys flag football and boys and girls cross country.

Boys basketball, softball, coed wrestling, girls basketball and coed track are also offered at the middle school level, while additional spots are offered for high schoolers.

Leading Edge Academy Junior High girls volleyball roster

Hayley Foster

Emilee Vukovich

Madison Herfurth

Amaya Downey

Hazel Casteel

Anna Pena

Brooke Romero

Kaydence Miller

Sophia Krug

Marisol Aranda

Rayna Smith

Kaylee Richardson

Have an interesting story? Contact Zach Alvira at zalvira@timespublications.com and follow him on Twitter @ZachAlvira.

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