Sunday, April 20, 2014

VB players not one-dimensional

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 12/2/2013

The 2013 Ottawa Herald all-area volleyball team members were not one-dimensional players.

They made impacts on the game no matter what position they were in.

The 2013 Ottawa Herald all-area volleyball team members were not one-dimensional players.

They made impacts on the game no matter what position they were in.

The team members are:

Kenzie Hayward, Sr., Central Heights

Hayward was the go-to hitter for the Vikings the past two seasons. She provided a big presence along the net. She compiled 268 kills, 28 blocks, 49 aces and had a 2.79 passing average.

She is a two-time all-league and all-area selection.

Whitney Kraus, Sr., Central Heights

Kraus used her all-around athletic skills to turn in her best season for Central Heights. She finished with 236 kills, 43 aces and a 2.83 passing average.

She was an all-league selection.

Kylie Foster, Jr., Ottawa

Foster meant more to the Cyclones than just her playing statistics. She was one of the emotional leaders on an off the court. Foster played all-around for Ottawa. She finished with 184 kills, 302 digs and 41 aces.

Brette Moore, Jr., Ottawa

Moore turned into Ottawa’s top hitter along the frontline. She finished with a team-best 266 kills. Moore compiled a .272 hitting percentage. She also had 36 blocks and 99 digs.

She was an all-league selection.

Emily Newhouse, Jr., Wellsville

Newhouse ran the Wellsville offense as a setter. She was a main cog in getting the engine rolling. She finished with 765 set assists. She was an all-league performer.

“She has a mental toughness that makes her a great teammate and was definitely a major part of our team  concept this year,” Wellsville coach Eric Evans said.

Karly Patton, Fr., Wellsville

Patton made a quick impact on the Wellsville team. She stepped into a starting role as a freshman and was a player the opposition needed to account for. She finished with 242 kills and 37 aces. She had a .279 kill efficiency. She was an all-league selection.

“Karly really caught on quick to the concept of our team play,” Evans said. “She reads the court very well when attacking and is very aggressive without being out of control.”

Ashley Sparks, Jr., Wellsville

Sparks set the bar high for herself after her first two years. She drove it even higher in her junior season. She  became known more than a hitter with her all-around game. She sharpened her hitting and became a presence no matter where she was on the floor.

She accounted for 355 kills and 197 digs. She had a .330 kill efficiency and a 2.27 serve-receive average.

“Ashley really stepped up her game this year and became a tremendous all-around player,” Evans said. “Her physical abilities have always been on display, but this year she really matured which allowed her to show off her mental skills as well.”

She is a two-time all-state selection and a three-time all-league and all-area team member.

Emily Reed, Sr., West Franklin

Reed was part of a one-two punch with fellow senior McKenzie Steele throughout her career. She did everything for the Falcons. She provided leadership and a presence all over the court.

She had soft hands to set up the offense, great anticipation in her passing skills and the power to put the point away.

Her senior season statistics were: 33 aces, 90 percent serving, 369 assists, 23 blocks, 296 kills, 295 digs and a .280 attack efficiency. Her career numbers stack against anybody in school history. She compiled 144 aces, 1,394 assists, 1,064 kills and 972 digs.

She was an all-state selection, a four-time all-league and all-area team member. She was nominated for the Under Armour All-American team. She will play volleyball for Cowley County Community College.

McKenzie Steele, Sr., West Franklin

Steele made it her mission to not let the ball hit the ground if it was anywhere near her. Her hustle and determination was a tough combination for other teams to stop.

She also was a big-time hitter at the net. She was a tough server. Steele compiled as a senior 343 digs, 242 kills, 2.47 serve-receive average, .270 attack efficiency, 65 aces, served 93 percent, 36 assists and 26 blocks.

For her career, she had 784 kills, 1,283 digs, 229 aces and a 2.44 serve-receive average.

She is a four-time all-league and all-area selection. She was nominated for the Under Armour All-American team. Steele plans to play college volleyball.

Bailey Whittington, Jr., West Franklin

Whittington successfully made the switch from libero to playing all-around for the Falcons. She remained as one of the top defensive players, but became an integral part of the offense.

She had 307 digs, 154 kills, 21 blocks, 31 assists, 2.22 serve-receive average, served 90 percent and had a school-record 70 aces. She was an all-league selection.

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