Who are some of the top area volleyball players to watch heading into this season? Find our top eight below.
This list also appears in the O-Zone Fall Preview Magazine featuring more names. The magazine is available at all area Casey’s General Stores. CLICK HERE FOR A FULL LIST OF ADVERTISER LOCATIONS WHERE THE MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE.
*This list is in alphabetical order.
Kennadee Anderson, Ozark, Senior
Anderson makes the potent Ozark offense go as the setter. She fell just short of the 1,000-assist barrier last year posting 983 assists. The returning all-state senior is committed to Arkansas State University and enters her third season as a setter for the Lady Tigers. She got her start in a 6-2 offense in her sophomore season before taking full control of a 5-1 offense last year.
Brynn Bonewell, Ozark, Senior
Bonewell was one of the area’s best defensive players last season as she took on a big responsibility on the backline due to an injury to the Lady Tigers’ libero. She flourished in the role by leading the team with 362 digs and 367 serve-receives. The Class 4 all-state selection is committed to play sand volleyball at Missouri State University. Coach Adeana Brewer sees her playing a six-rotation role this year.
Alana Findley, Fair Grove, Senior
Findley is a two-sport star who will play basketball in college, but her volleyball skills are on par with the best in the area. Last year, she led the Lady Eagles in kills (350) and blocks (68), while finishing top three on the team in aces (30), digs (181) and serve-receives (181). For her career, Findley has 791 kills and a .377 hitting percentage.
Birdie Hendrickson, Rogersville, Junior
Hendrickson has been a force on the volleyball court since her first varsity set. The two-time all-state selection had 308 kills with a .399 hitting percentage. She also had 198 digs, 20 aces and 297 serve-receives against just seven errors. She could move around this season depending on team needs, even seeing some time at setter.
DOWNLOAD THE O-ZONE APP NOW!
Tayte Kozlowski, Kickapoo, Junior
Kozlowski is one of the area’s most purely athletic players. She is a standout jumper and sprinter on the track. Her leaping ability translates perfectly to the volleyball court. She earned all-state honors as a sophomore thanks to leading Kickapoo with 255 kills. She also contributed 169 digs to help in the defensive game.
Gabby Massengale, Rogersville, Senior
Massengale gives Rogersville two returning all-state players. She was second on the team in kills with 217 last season. Coach Tammy Miller said that Massengale has improved and increased her hitting options over the summer. That improvement is one reason that Birdie Hendrickson could spend time at setter to allow Massengale to lead the Rogersville attack.
Julia McCown, Ozark, Senior
McCown will be Ozark’s top returning hitter this season. She earned Class 4 all-state honors thanks to her 290-kill season. She is committed to Missouri State University for volleyball, which gives the Lady Tigers three seniors heading to Missouri State for volleyball. She will officially be listed as a middle blocker thanks to her long wingspan and high contact point, but could see time on the pins as well.
Grace Southern, Carl Junction, Senior
Southern will have to be a leader for Carl Junction in all six rotations coming off an all-state junior season. She posted a 228-kill season last year. Coach Cheryl Sharples said that Southern has improved her hitting consistency and blocking in the offseason. The senior will be an outside hitter in 2018.