Picking our girls volleyball playoff of the year was very tough.

Tucson High had its best season ever, reaching the state semifinals for the first time, behind star senior Summer Avery who is signed to play at California State – Bakersfield. The Badgers (39-4) also had sophomore Mia Sokolowski who led the team with 508 kills.

Then there was Rincon/University senior Taylor Reiter who led the Rangers in three categories and helped them reach the state tournament.

But in the end, we decided do-it-all star Kennedy Kurtz from Ironwood Ridge was our player of the year.

Kurtz, who is signed to play at Sacramento State, was the glue for the Nighthawks, who had one of the toughest schedules in the state and reached the state semifinals for the sixth time since 2007.

The versatile 5-foot-10-inch senior utility was first on the team with 54 aces and tied for third with 175 kills. She also had 42 blocks, 193 digs, and 116 assists.

I-Ridge senior captain Hanna Peterman, a setter, was also in the conversation but Kurtz’s ability to play well just about anywhere is what gave her the prize.