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Foothills led by feared hitter

Citizen Staff Writer



Garrett Voge has done it all for the Catalina Foothills boys volleyball team.

Voge, a fourth-year varsity player who has developed into arguably Arizona’s most feared outside hitter, hopes to lead the Falcons (10-3) to their fourth-straight Class 4A/5A Division II state championship next month.

“It’s crazy. I remember walking in worried if I’d make varsity,” Voge said of his freshman season. “It’s weird thinking back on fun stories like that. Volleyball has been one of the highlights of my high school experience. All the guys are nice and Foothills has been a good community.”

Voge leads Foothills with 15.5 kills a game with a kill percentage of .482.

For context, Foothills coach David Thistle said a good kill percentage for most high school players is in the .250 range.

Voge finished with 231 kills last season and has 201 through 13 games this season, including 13 in Wednesday’s loss at Ironwood Ridge 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-23).

Thistle has high praise for his star player, calling Voge “one of the best outside hitters in the country.”

“I’ll use him and some of the things he’s done as an example (when I coach),” Thistle said. “He’s brought a lot to that (Foothills) team.”

Voge’s ended up on the Foothills team after he broke his foot playing basketball in eighth grade at St. Cyril Catholic School. After the injury, Voge focused exclusively on volleyball.

Thistle, who has known Voge since he was 13, has watched him grow on high school teams as well as playing for club teams such as Club Cactus and the Arizona Premier Volleyball team.

“The kid is just phenomenal,” Thistle said. “It’s not just his attacking, it’s his passing and he extends plays on defense. He can read attackers really well and pick his spots. He’s easily our most valuable player.”

Thistle was Voge’s coach when he played for Club Cactus, a junior club team and plans to ask him to help coach in the future.

For his part, Voge credits Thistle because “he made me love the game.”

Imagine, then, how Voge felt last season when he found out Thistle had taken the reigns at Foothills.

“I was really excited,” Voge said. “He not only knows volleyball, but he’s a fan of positive reinforcement. I learn better when people aren’t yelling at me.”

Voge surprised a lot of people when he decided to stay in Tucson and attend the University of Arizona, which doesn’t have a varsity volleyball team, instead of going out of state to play on scholarship.

“Boys volleyball is not the most scholarship-heavy sport,” Voge said. “I love the U of A and to me academics come first. I had to make a decision for myself.”

Voge wants to study business and play club volleyball when he goes to college.

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