Monday, September 01, 2014

School's best highlight all-area volleyball team

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 11/20/2012

The 2012 Ottawa Herald’s all-area volleyball team consists of all-state players and others with sterling seasons and stellar careers.

Several set career and single-season school records.

The 2012 Ottawa Herald’s all-area volleyball team consists of all-state players and others with sterling seasons and stellar careers.

Several set career and single-season school records.

The all-area team members are:

Annsley Graham, Sr., Anderson County

Graham turned in one of the best seasons as a setter for the Bulldogs. The three-year starter set school records in sets (2,220) and set assists (747) for a single season. She has been a stalwart throughout her high school career.

She also compiled 53 aces and served 96 percent. She is a two-time all-league selection.

Jaime Mersman, Sr., Anderson County

Mersman was a multi-dimensional player throughout her prep career. She was the Bulldogs’ go-to offensive player, but also was adept at blocking and passing.

She led the Bulldogs with 286 kills this past season. She had a .280 hitting percentage. She also had a 2.11 passing average. She finished with 30 aces and 68 blocks.

She was a three-time all-league selection.

Kenzie Hayward, Jr., Central Heights

Hayward shouldered a big load for the Vikings this season. She played all-around for the first time in her career.

She responded by becoming a team leader. She compiled 129 kills, 56 blocks (10 stuff), 158 digs, 2.09 serve-receive and 13 aces. She was an all-league selection.

Alexis Roecker, Sr., Ottawa

Roecker was a four-year standout for the Cyclones. She comes from a volleyball family and she played like a veteran from the start.

Ottawa amassed more than 100 wins during her career, including a third-place finish at the 4A state tournament as a junior.

Roecker put together a sterling senior season and career.

She led Ottawa in kills (316) and digs (341) this past season. She also had 24 aces, seven solo blocks and 20 assisted blocks.

For her career, Roecker compiled 896 kills, 556 digs, 97 aces, 56 solo blocks and 180 block assists.

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

Paige Weidner, Sr., Ottawa

Weidner is another four-year player for Ottawa. She was a stalwart in nearly every facet of the game.

The senior was part of a nice four-year run for the Cyclones. She and Roecker were big factors in Ottawa’s success.

As as senior, she had 240 kills, 175 digs, 35 aces, 206 assists, 10 solo blocks and 22 block assists. She was an all-league selection.

For her career, Weidner had 636 kills, 240 digs, 41 aces, 232 assists, 32 solo blocks and 92 block assists.

Darcy Bonzo, Sr., Wellsville

Bonzo was a four-year starter for the Eagles. She etched her name into the record books with her play. She helped lead Wellsville to back-to-back state tournament appearances as a junior and senior.

Wellsville coach Eric Evans wanted the offense to run through her.

“Running a 5-1 with her as the setter was a no-brainer,” he said. “Darcy was familiar with the offense and with the players.”

She had 785 set assists as a senior and led Wellsville in serving at 96.9 percent. She was an all-league selection.

Bonzo is the school’s all-time leader in assists with 1,982.

Ashley Sparks, So., Wellsville

Sparks could end up as the best player in the history of Wellsville volleyball. She is well on her way to setting school records in a lot of categories.

“She is a very dynamic player who is very physical on the court,” Evans said. “Whenever the team needed her to put a ball away or make a great pass, she was always there to do it.”

Sparks led the Eagles to two straight state tournament appearances.

She was a 3A all-state selection by the Kansas Volleyball Association. She also was selected to the 3A state all-tournament team.

She led the Eagles in kills (459) and serve-receive (2.30) and second in digs (254). She is a two-time all-league and all-area selection.

Stephany Lord, Jr., West Franklin

Lord’s presence on the court made a big difference for the Falcons. She missed the first 12 matches of the season with an injury and West Franklin struggled.

The Falcons hit their stride after her return and closed the season on a 21-4 run. Lord helped guide the Falcons to nearly 60 wins in her two years as a Falcon.

She finished with 252 kills, 15 blocks, 170 digs and 40 aces. She served 93 percent.

Lord is a two-time all-area and all-league performer.

Emily Reed, Jr., West Franklin

Reed can do it all on the volleyball court. She can start the offense, run the offense or be a finisher. She is one of the best back-row defenders and can use the serve as a weapon.

She led West Franklin in kills (338) and assists (469). She also had 292 digs, 19 blocks and 43 aces. She served 90 percent. In her three years, Reed helped lead the Falcons to more than 80 wins.

Reed was selected to the KVA 3A honorable mention all-state team.

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

McKenzie Steele, Jr., West Franklin

Steele is an all-around player that can shoulder a big burden. Her game grew without Lord early in the season and blossomed into one of the best as the season progressed.

She set a single-season mark with 401 digs. She served 94 percent with 61 aces. She compiled 225 kills, 33 blocks and had a 2.45 serve-receive average.

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

Ottawa area sports can be followed on twitter @ottawasports1

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