A former Lady Longhorn star and a current Payson High standout were named to all division honorable mention volleyball teams when the Arizona Republic sports staff announced on Sunday its choices of the best players in the state.
Emma Randall, a senior outside hitter at Payson High, was named HM on the Division III team and Emmee Ashby, a junior middle blocker at Queen Creek, was given honorable mention laurels among the Division II “big school” teams.
Randall proved early in the past season in a narrow win over Snowflake that she had the talent and moxie to become a volleyball standout.
Following the victory, coach Arnold Stonebrink predicted, “She is going to be a work horse for us and she was as strong at the finish as she was at the start of the match.”
Randall finished the match with a whopping 57 spikes, turning 24 of them into kills. She also committed just seven errors.
Randall improved as the season wore on, becoming one of the team’s finest players. In a late-season loss to powerful Notre Dame, she was at her best, leading the team in kills with seven.
Former Horn shines
Ashby played last season for Payson High, as did her mother, Julie, about two decades ago.
At the end of last year, Emmee and her mother moved to the Valley where the teen enrolled at Queen Creek High School enjoying almost immediate volleyball success.
Her finest efforts were turned in during 3-0 wins over Combs and Williams Field and a 3-2 loss to Campo Verde.
In the victory over Williams Field, MaxPreps named her the “Player of the Match.”
In it, she averaged two kills per set and hit an amazing 71.4 percentage.
Against Combs she averaged 1.7 kills per set and hit 85.7.
In the loss to Campo Verde, Ashby led the team in kills with 13.
When not playing for Queen Creek, Ashby is a member of Club Eclipse that plays in the highly competitive Open Division of club volleyball.
Julie Ashby says her daughter’s goal is to eventually earn a college volleyball scholarship at Dixie State, Utah Valley Union or another school.
Recruiters at University of California Santa Cruz and other schools have shown interest in Ashby.