Another volleyball season comes to a close, with some teams surpassing expectations and others falling just short. Regardless of the end result of Fayette County volleyball, we have compiled a list of players deserving recognition for their roles in their teams’ success this season.
How were these teams determined? Selection was determined from: a) game coverage during regular and post season b) the final finish of each team and c) feedback from each coach. Out of our teams we have also chosen a player whom we feel best represents the spirit of Fayette County volleyball at its finest and a coach of the year. Each team has four positional considerations and is limited to ten players on the roster. There are many great players in Fayette County, but these are whom we consider superlative.
Many players were instrumental in their teams’ success this season and made our Player of the Year selection very difficult to decide. However, all things considered, the Fayette Newspapers 2013 Volleyball Player of the Year honor belongs to senior Mollie Michel from McIntosh. Did she lead the team in kills? No. Did she lead the team in assists? No. Digs? No. Was she flashy and flamboyant on the court? No. She was ultimately selected ahead of a number of worthy candidates because of a) her key role in turning around the momentum in the favor of McIntosh during the fourth and final set of the state championship game, sealing their victory (six out of an eight point series were from her kills and blocks), b) her humble demeanor and ”team first” attitude and c)for her instrumental, steady all-around clutch play during the Chiefs entire season. Volleyball is a team sport and one never got the impression it was all about her. Congratulations, Mollie!
Our Volleyball Coach of the Year honor belongs to Wendy Weaver, head coach of McIntosh. She led her team to the AAAAA state championship following a brilliant Finals appearance in 2012 and a Final Four appearance in 2011.
Head coach of McIntosh since 2004, she has amassed an overall record of 355 wins and 142 losses. Her teams have been to the Finals three times, Final Four five times and have been ranked in the Top Ten overall every season she has been head coach. In 2007, the Lady Chiefs topped Starrs Mill for the school’s first volleyball title. Her positive, calm sideline demeanor conceals a fierce competitor demanding nothing short of excellence from her team. Her modus operandi has worked, based on the results any given year, but especially this one.
Introducing our First All-County Volleyball Team: This team is dominated by McIntosh Chiefs, beginning with a pair of senior outside hitters, Abbi Schelkopf and Rhana Mitchell, each of whom has been dominant in both kills and service aces. Both have played a mean back row which helped McIntosh win the AAAAA State Championship this year. Senior Charlotte Hughes from Whitewater closes outside hitter selection for first team. Co-Captain of the Wildcats, Hughes helped lead her team to an Elite Eight finish, a finish better than many had thought possible this year, with a new head coach and nine new players.
Moving to middle hitters, Sandy Creek’s Sydney Wilson is a shoe-in for first team. The senior captain has been instrumental in Sandy Creek’s Final Four finish this year and their back-to-back AAAA championships in 2011 and 2012. Starrs Mill’s senior co-captain Diana Enriquez is our second player chosen for middle hitter. She led her team in kills, blocks and aces and to a Sweet Sixteen playoff finish.
Rotating to the right side/setter position, a pair of Lady Chiefs starts off the selection, with seniors Mollie Michel and Rheagan Mitchell getting the nod. Each of these players has done it all—hitting, setting, blocking, digging and serving. Sandy Creek’s Alexis Broadwater and Whitewater’s Kait Steele complete the setter/right side for First Team. Broadwater, a sophomore, has been instrumental in not only setting, but also service aces for the Lady Patriots. Steele, a senior co-captain, has helped lead the inexperienced Cats by her steady, consistent play.
Switching to our back row or defensive players, senior Lady Chiefs Kassandra Robert deserves recognition for her excellent floor coverage.
All-County second team honors go to an great bunch.
Outside hitter: Sandy Creek’s Dariah Powell, a senior, Whitewater’s Laura Phillipp, a junior and Nikki Resler, Starrs Mill senior co-captain who is second in kills (230) for the Lady Panthers.
Middle hitter/blocker: Miara Bryant, senior, McIntosh. Bryant had an astounding 7 blocks during the championship game that helped seal the Chiefs’ victory. Fellow Chiefs junior Abbie Duke and Sandy Creek freshman Kyndall Wilson share second team middle hitter selection with Bryant.
In the setter/right side position for second team is a pair of Panthers, junior Rachel Moore and sophomore Dana Whitis.
Filling out the back row are Wildcat libero sophomore Julianna Bright and Panthers junior Eden Aanstoos.
On the Honorable Mention All–County team are the following players: outside hitters: Autumn Martin, senior, Sandy Creek and Olivia Krug, junior, Starrs Mill. Middle hitter: juniors Sam Wagner and Cheyanne Walker both from Fayette County High and Our Lady of Mercy’s Casey Grant, a junior. Right side/setter: Alyssa Sack, sophomore, Starrs Mill; senior Taylor Dunham, Fayette County High and OLM’s senior Rachel Barfield. Defensive/back row: Sandy Creek’s junior Maha Raslan and Panthers’ freshman Cate Patterson and Wildcats’ freshman Angelica Webb.
Good luck to all the college-bound players, and future Fayette County volleyball players and coaches. May your teams continue their success moving forward into next season.