Ottawa, WF players highlight all-area team
It was a special season for the Ottawa and West Franklin high school volleyball teams.
The squads finished third in their respective state tournaments. The journeys were different.
The Cyclones caught fire at the end of the season after a 13-13 start. Ottawa ripped off a 10-match winning streak. During the streak, Ottawa captured a sub-state title and a first-round state tournament victory to advance to the 4A State Tournament’s Final 4.
The Falcons were dominant from the start of the season taking a 28-3 mark to the state tourney. West Franklin were undefeated in league play, capturing the Flint Hills regular-season and tournament championships.
At the state tourney, Ottawa rallied for a three-set victory over McPherson in the third-place match.
West Franklin fell in three sets in the semifinal round, but rebounded to top Goodland in the third-place match.
The two squads sported some of the top players in the state and received many postseason honors.
West Franklin and Ottawa players highlight The Ottawa Herald 2020 all-area volleyball teams.
Here are the members of the all-area team:
Darby Weidl, Sr., Ottawa
Weidl put together a sterling senior season and career. She led the Cyclones to their first state tournament since 2011. Weidl was an all-around volleyball player. She was Ottawa’s go-to offensive player. She was a ballhawk on defense.
She finished with 535 kills (4.3K per set), 417 digs and 33 blocks in her senior season. She was selected to the 4A State Tournament team, 4A all-state first team, Eastern Kansas Sports 4A first team and all-league first team.
Weidl, a four-year varsity standout, finished with 1,117 kills, 1,128 digs and 142 aces in her career. Weidl is one of the top athletes in the state. She was state runner-up as a junior in wrestling and opens her senior season as the top-ranked wrestler in her weight class.
Kirsten Evans, Jr., Ottawa
Evans was the floor general for the Cyclones. She kept defenses off-balance with her feel for the game. She knew which hitter to set and when to catch the opposing team by surprise by nailing a kill. She also was a top-notch server and defended the net along with being a solid passer.
Evans finished with 1,020 assists (9.5 assists/set), 316 digs, 100 aces and 44 blocks this season. Evans was a 4A State Tournament team member, an all-state, Eastern Kansas Sports 4A and all-league selection. She is a three-sport standout for the Cyclones.
Molly Olmsted, Sr., Ottawa
Olmsted was a steady performer throughout her three-year varsity career. She was an all-around player that made plays all over the court. She was a top net defender, hitter and server.
As a senior, Olmsted accumulated 237 kills (2.1/set), 92 blocks, 140 digs and 23 aces. She had a .233 hitting efficiency. She earned Eastern Kansas Sports and all-league honors.
For her career, she had 727 kills, 169 blocks and 52 aces.
Emma Stottlemire, Jr., Ottawa
The ball seemed to find Stottlemire a lot this season. She was the key cog in Ottawa’s defense. Her body control and quick reflexes helped set-up the offense.
She finished with 449 digs from her libero position. She had 718 serve-receive chances with just 54 errors. She had 21 assists.
She earned 4A Eastern Kansas Sports and all-league honors.
Ainsley Corwine, Sr., West Franklin
Corwine was born to be a volleyball player. She is the daughter of West Franklin volleyball coach Angie Corwine. She was a natural on the floor and was the quarterback of the team.
She earned several awards: MaxPreps state of Kansas player of the week, Eastern Kansas Sports 3A 2nd team setter, All League first team (unanimous), 3A State All-Tournament team and 3A All-State second team.
She had a record-breaking season. She accumulated a school-record 986 assists (10.8 assists per set). She broke the school record she set last year with 921. She also had 73 aces, 193 digs, 52 kills, and 24 blocks.
The four-year starter finished her career with 3,486 assists, 250 aces, 598 digs and 284 kills.
She plans to play college volleyball.
Alex Coopman, Sr., West Franklin
Coopman took her game to another level this season as the No. 1 option at the net. Teams attempted to slow her down by committing several players to defend her.
She led the Falcons with 322 kills (3.7 kills/set). Coopman had a 0.395 hitting efficiency, 59 aces and 36 blocks.
Coopman earned several honors: all-league first team (unanimous), 3A State All-Tournament team and 3A All-State second team.
Coopman’s career numbers were 636 kills, 143 aces and 107 blocks.
Sami Randall, Sr., West Franklin
Randall’s grasp of the game led her to be in position to make defensive plays. She was the defensive leader and made accurate passes to Corwine. She finished with a school-record 408 digs (4.5 digs/set). She had a serve-receive average of 2.33. Randall served 66 aces and had 40 assists.
She also earned postseason honors: Eastern Kansas Sports 3A first team libero and first team all-league.
Randall career stats were: 1,081 digs, 190 aces and 90 assists.
Jenna Walters, Jr., West Franklin
Walters was an all-around top player for the Falcons. She excelled all over the court. She gave West Franklin depth across the frontline and also was versatile enough to be a standout on defense.
Walters finished with 240 kills, 244 digs, 2.20 serve-receive average and 46 aces.
She was selected Eastern Kansas Sports 3A second team outside hitter and first-team all-league (unanimous).
For her career, she has 706 kills, 694 digs and 155 aces.
Riley Zentz Jr., West Franklin
Zentz was mainstay on the back row joining Randall and Walters to give the Falcons a top-notch defense. She finished with 103 kills, 260 digs, serve-receive average of 2.23 and 45 aces.
She was selected Eastern Kansas Sports 3A second team right side hitter and all-league honorable mention.
For her career, she has 223 kills, 646 digs and 149 aces.
Jayden Troutman, Sr., Wellsville
Troutman did everything for the Eagles. Her all-around athletic ability was on display throughout the season. She is a five-sport standout for Wellsville, excelling volleyball, basketball, track, softball and cheerleading.
Wellsville coach Eric Evans said the Eagles’ co-captain led by example and topped the team in several categories.
“Jadyn excelled at the net as well as on the back row, and she is one of the most coachable athletes I've ever known,” Evans said.
Evans said Troutman displayed leadership, toughness and versatility throughout her career.”
Troutman signed to play college volleyball for Johnson County Community College.
Laney Overman, Sr., Wellsville
Overman displayed her toughness and grittiness throughout the season. She was a co-captain and was one of the team’s leaders.
“She was one of our setters this year and battled through a foot injury to help our team out when we needed her most,” Evans said. “Laney showed her leadership through her toughness and court savvy, especially at the setter position. She also has great communication skills, which helped in several situations throughout the year.”