High school volleyball

As Catalina High School's longtime volleyball coach, Heather Moore-Martin always tried to raise her team's level of play when it visited the Salpointe Catholic gym.

She'll continue to take that approach, only now she'll call Salpointe home.

Moore-Martin left the Trojans earlier this month to take over the Lancers' boys and girls programs, filling the vacancy left after Amy Johnson was fired by Salpointe on May 22. Johnson had coached the Lancers for 13 years.

"It's a chance for me to continue to engage my skills as a coach and I'm excited for that opportunity," Moore-Martin said. "I'm looking forward to the amount of volleyball knowledge that's already there. Amy did a really nice job of fostering great volleyball there, and I want to continue the tradition."

Salpointe athletic director Phil Gruensfelder said Moore-Martin's hiring won't be official until she signs her contract at the start of the school year. However, she has been involved in the school's summer program, has held "open gym" workouts on campus and said she is committed to being a Lancer.

"Heather has been a part of the Tucson volleyball community for over 20 years as a well-respected player and coach," Gruensfelder said. "She is a proven winner and leader who will continue the long-standing tradition of excellence in Lancer volleyball."

Moore-Martin, a Tucson native, played at and graduated from Catalina and played for Pima College before earning a degree at the UA. She coached at Green Fields Country Day School and Pima before starting the boys program at Catalina in 1998. She took over the girls program shortly after that.

In her time coaching the Trojans, Moore-Martin had plenty of success, especially in the last few years. Catalina's boys team won Class 2A-4A state titles in 2010 and 2011; the girls made the state semifinals in 2009 and advanced to the Division III state championship match in 2011.

Moore-Martin said she's looking forward to coaching Salpointe but said it was tough to leave Catalina.

"It was extremely sad to say goodbye to them," she said. "It was probably the hardest thing I've done as a coach, but I felt like this door opened, and I needed to walk through it once I was given the opportunity to do it."

Contact high school sports coordinator Daniel Gaona at dgaona@azstarnet.com or 807-7761. On Twitter @DanielGaona13