DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Gators' Patterson, Shields, Wagner honored

Xavier senior middle blocker Makena Patterson, who at 6-feet-4 was one of the most intimidating players on Arizona’s high school volleyball scene during the recently completed season, has been selected as one of three finalists for’s Volleyball Athlete of the Year.
The other candidates are Chandler Hamilton’s Preslie Anderson and Phoenix Mountain Pointe’s Chapin Gray. Recipient of the award will be announced at a ceremony scheduled for late spring.
Xavier reached the 6A Conference semifinals and Patterson finished with 349 kills, eight aces and 101 blocks.
She also earned the honor of being an Under Armour First-Team All-American, one of only 24 players nationally so designated. And she was named to the All-Tournament team for the Durango Classic tournament, which featured some of the top teams in the country.
Patterson will move on to play volleyball and study at Texas A&M.
She was one of the headliners on azcentral’s All-Arizona 6A Conference First Team.
Also, Xavier teammates Shannon Shields, a sophomore setter, and Lanie Wagner, a junior outside hitter, were selected to the 6A Second Team.

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