Three Payson girls earned recognition on the All-3A East Volleyball team in voting by region coaches.

Junior hitter/middle blocker Kylee Carnes and senior setter Sadie Hazelo made the second team and junior hitter/middle blocker Alex Hagan was honorable mention.

The Longhorns finished 18-19 overall, according to MaxPreps, 7-10 in the non-tournament games that count in the state rankings and 3-7 in the 3A East.

Payson, ranked No. 23, upset No. 10 Queen Creek American Leadership Academy 26-24, 25-21, 25-23 in a 3A state play-in game on Nov. 5 to advance to the 16-team 3A state tournament as the No. 16 seed.

The Longhorns lost to No. 1 Chandler Valley Christian 20-25, 14-25, 9-25 in the opening round of the tournament at Phoenix Camelback High on Nov. 8.

Carnes finished first in digs, fifth in aces, seventh in hitting and ninth in both blocks and setting in the region, according to head coach Shelli Creighton.

“With Kylee being in the top 10 in every category, she ended up being a huge asset to our team and thankfully, she is just a junior,” Creighton said.

Hazelo finished first in aces, third in setting and seventh in digs in the 3A East, according to Creighton.

Hazelo, Emily Daniels and America Benitez were the only seniors on the roster and all played key leadership roles.

“I will miss my three seniors,” Creighton said. “They were my captains and were the glue to our team.”

Hagan finished second in blocks and 13th in hitting in the region, said Creighton.

Other Longhorns who ranked high in the region included Cadence White (10th in blocks and 14th in hitting); and Emily Daniels (eighth in aces, ninth in digs); America Benitez (10th in digs); Hope Jones (16th in aces); and Mayzee Taylor (17th in aces).

“I am so proud of my team and how they finished out the season with integrity and grit,” Creighton said.

“Hopefully, along with Cassie Hendricks, my assistant coach, I will be able to lead them again next year in another season.”

Creighton thanked JV coach Kamae Carnes and freshman coach Kyleah Sayer for their valuable contributions.

“Their support on and off the court along with their knowledge of the sport made my job a lot easier,” she said.

Contact the reporter at

Contact the reporter at kmorris@payson.com

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