We are less than two weeks away from the start of the 2013 volleyball season. Here are some of the area's top seniors to keep an eye on this year.
Lexi Birlew, Republic – Birlew led Republic in both kills (281) and digs (255) in 2012, helping to the Lady Tigers to a 28-9 record. Although it will be a little different not being set up by C of O bound Sarah Kreul, expect a big 2013 from Birlew.
Lauren Boone, Branson – Boone was a jack of all trades last year for Branson. She recorded team-highs in kills (123), aces (34), and assists (221). The Missouri State commit tallied six aces in a win last year against Reeds Spring.
Shelby Clifton, Mountain Grove – Mountain Grove made a run to the 2012 Final Four, and Shelby Clifton was a huge reason why. The second team all-stater racked up 204 kills and 196 digs in leading Mountain Grove to a 29-10-2 record and third place finish at state. Oh, Clifton was also the Class 2 100M hurdle state champion in 2013.
Danielle Curnes, Reeds Spring – Curnes tallied team-highs in kills (242) and digs (288) for the 20-14 Lady Wolves. The 5-foot-9 Curnes was an all-state honorable mention, in addition to being first-team All-COC Small.
Brianne Dixon, Kickapoo – The 5-foot-6 Dixon knows her roll and plays it well. The defensive specialist dug up 254 balls, a team-high, in leading the Lady Chiefs to the Ozark Conference title. She is verbally committed to Missouri State.
Mikala Hicks, Fair Grove – Last year’s Fair Grove squad was incredibly balanced, featuring 6-foot-2 Evangel Volleyball signee Morgan Kensinger. Even then, Hicks still managed to rack up 196 kills to go along with her 380 assists. Hicks will be a focal point offensively for Fair Grove in 2013.
Mary Maerz, Central – The 6-foot outside hitter was a star for Central last year, picking up 280 kills on a solid .370 hit percentage. The Missouri State commit also led the Lady Bulldogs in aces (47), while recording 203 digs.
Jamie Mauss, Ash Grove – On a team full of stars, Mauss reigned supreme, helping Ash Grove to the Mid-Lakes title while also picking up all-state honors. She is one of just two returning players that were unanimous selections to the All-Mid-Lakes team.
Nola McAfee, Winona – The 6-foot-1 McAfee had a dream season for the Lady Wildcats. McAfee was all over the court, tallying 320 kills, 99 blocks, 172 digs, and 397 assists, in leading Winona to the Class 1 state championship.
Gabi Mostrom, Parkview – Mostrom did it all last year for the Lady Vikings. The Wichita State commit paced Parkview in kills (334), aces (62) and digs (294). With Parkview returning everyone from last year’s squad, look for 2013 to be more plentiful for Coach Zimmerman.
Rachel Lee, Glendale – On a talented, yet youthful Lady Falcon squad, Lee is the lone senior. However, that doesn’t mean she can’t play. Lee racked up 322 digs in 2012 on her way to nabbing All-Ozark Conference honors. She will also be a huge reason why Glendale will be in the hunt for conference and district titles.
Ivy Reynolds, Ozark – Reynolds was part of a balanced, three-headed monster for Ozark last year, tallying 193 kills to help lead the Lady Tigers to the Final Four. Reynolds, who also tallied 304 digs and 68 blocks, is being courted by Arkansas State, Eastern Illinois, and SIU-Edwardsville, among others.
Allie Schatz, Marionville – As a junior, the 5-foot-10 Schatz led the Lady Comets in nearly every major stat category, including kills (163) and blocks (77). Marionville lost just three seniors from last year’s squad. Although she’ll have a new setter in 2013, expect more offensively from Schatz.
Kaitlyn Schrock, Osceola – Schrock is an offensive anomaly. She had an insane 46.7% kill percentage (156 kills), while also tallying 126 aces. She did so despite being the Lady Indians primary setter, with 540 assists. In 2013 she will look to lead Osceola back to the Final Four where they finished third in Class 1 last season.
Katie Wiele, Carl Junction – Wiele helped lead the Lady Bulldogs to another 20-win season and Big 8 title in 2012. She may as well be a human shovel, digging up 401 balls on her way to first-team All-Big 8 honors. Carl Junction lost just one senior from last year’s team, leaving the expectations high in CJ.
Also on my Radar...
Kailey Chapman, Spokane; Lexi Vandegrift, Everton; Katie Robinson, Ozark; Abby Arico, Ash Grove; Hannah Collins, Strafford; Erin Weinreis, Ash Grove; Julia Krebs, Clever; Meg Moles, Sparta; Taylor Bills, Forsyth; Kenna Greenway, Galena; Lexie Tennis, Clever; Olivia Fabro, Billings; Sammy Himes, Billings; Maci Saxe, Billings; Tressa Linson, Blue Eye; MacKenzie Irwin, Carl Junction; Madi Johnson, Ash Grove; Becca Altic, Pleasant Hope; Alea Cooper, Fair Grove; Allison Schatz, Marionville; Jane Kickham, Glendale; Audrey Engelman, Nixa; Madison Campbell, Bolivar; Claire Hutchison, Rogersville; Haley Chastain, Republic; Maddy Sherman, Republic.
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