Payson High School seniors Desi Burris and Michelle Daniels are seeing stars — Arizona Coaches Association All-Stars that is.
The pair were selected earlier this week in voting by high school volleyball coaches to participate in the North vs. South All-Star game when it is played June 19 at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher.
Only seniors are eligible to participate in the celestial clash that pits the finest players around the state against one another in a final prep showdown.
Lady Longhorn coach Arnold Stonebrink, who was the North All-Star team coach last year, is convinced his two selections will contribute big time in the upcoming star games.
“Both girls will bring real value to the North team,” he said. “Michelle’s strength is blocking and that will be critical in slowing down the high-octane hitting attack the South will surely bring.”
Burris, he said, “can do just about anything — hit, set, block, pass and serve. That can really come in handy in an all-star game.”
Stonebrink understands that fact of all-star life all to well from lessons learned last summer.
The 2009 North all-stars, he said, “were a little weak in the back row, so we had to enlist (ex-Lady Horn) Cydney Figueroa to fill in as libero, even though she’d never been a defensive specialist in high school.”
Because of what was learned at the last star games, the coach is convinced, “Desi’s versatility will surely be an asset to the North.”
Burris, a three-year varsity letter-winner, was one of the most well-rounded players to ever don a Payson High School uniform.
During each year of her varsity career, she finished first or second on the team in serving efficiency.
Last season, she led the team in aces with 83, and was second in assists with 298.
Daniels might have been chosen an all-star because of her exceptional blocking ability.
Last season, she ran away with the team lead in blocks/block assists with 121.
“She more than tripled the amount of the next blocker on the team,” Stonebrink said. “She had the ability to take over a match with her blocking, and did so many times this year.”
Daniels also proved to be a standout hitter all last season.
The naming of Burris and Daniels to the all-star game comes on the heels of both being named to the All-East region first team.
Burris was also all-state honorable mention.