Over the past couple of years, the volleyball programs inside the Southern Ohio Conference umbrella have grown to the point where anything can happen if a team controls its side of that court.
That point was heeded and well-represented on Sunday evening, when the latest edition of the All-SOC volleyball units were released for all to behold as 58 individuals from across both divisions inside the SOC were named to the lists.
SOC I Overview
Notre Dame, who went on yet another 14-0 tear in SOC I conference action en route to its third Division IV District Championship in four seasons and a Division IV, Region 15 runner-up finish — the best finish in school history — put a team-high six players on the All-SOC lists due to the excellent play that the Lady Titans showcased throughout the season.
Lexi Smith, who led Notre Dame in kills (498), attack percentage (.470), digs (302), blocks (91), and aces (76) en route to a stellar campaign that would rival anybody’s in the State of Ohio, again took home the SOC I’s Player of the Year honor. Smith finished her volleyball career with 1,655 kills, a .477 attack percentage, 810 digs, 709 service receptions, 327 blocks, and 227 aces.
Ali Smith (259 digs, 42 aces), Clara Hash (225 digs, 202 kills, 38 aces), and Katie Dettwiller (219 kills, .395 attack percentage, 60 blocks) joined their teammate on the first team, while Cassie Schaefer (766 assists, 60 aces) and Taylor Schmidt (209 digs, 26 aces) earned Second-Team All-SOC accolades. In leading the Lady Titans to its second regional berth in three seasons — and its first regional victory ever as part of the volleyball program — Notre Dame’s Kelsey Glockner joined her girls on the honor roll by claiming the SOC I’s Coach of the Year award.
Clay, who finished second and ran the table in the conference other than its pair of defeats to Notre Dame, finished with a very stout 21-4 overall mark.
The Lady Panthers’ Jensen Warnock, who took home the SOC I’s Defensive Player of the Year honor, finished with 402 kills, a .405 attack percentage, 325 digs, and 55 aces in 2017. She headed a group that also includes Lila Brown (856 assists, 23 aces) and Delanie Gilliland (271 kills, .346 attack percentage, 211 digs, and a team-high 89 aces) on the first team, while Shaelyn Vassar (288 digs, 50 aces) and Taylor Lewis (250 kills, .266 attack percentage, 55 aces, 40 blocks) rounded out the honorees for Clay.
New Boston, who put up a banner year for the current decade with an 18-5 overall mark and a second consecutive showing in a Division IV District Semifinal, put Ali Hamilton and Kaylee Stone on the first team. Hamilton obtained 274 kills, a .418 attack percentage, 151 digs, 82 blocks, and 36 aces while pacing the team in each of the first four categories, and Stone added 201 kills, a .313 attack percentage, 99 digs, 70 blocks, and 32 aces to form a formidable one-two punch on the frontline.
In addition to the first team honors from the aforementioned pair, the Lady Tigers also put two players on the second team, as Mariah Buckley (495 assists, 40 aces) and Brianna Humble (.401 attack percentage, 38 blocks) solidified the Lady Tigers’ roster. Buckley led the team in assists and aces to aid the frontline attack. East’s Sadie Williams (19 aces) and Green’s Kami Sweeney rounded out the first team, with the Lady Tartans’ Kacie Bell and the Lady ‘Cats’ Kori Derifield taking home second team accolades. Eastern, Symmes Valley, and Western combined to place eight honorees on the SOC I unit to close the book on the Division I honorees.
First Team: Notre Dame: Lexi Smith, Ali Smith, Clara Hash, Katie Dettwiller. Clay: Jensen Warnock, Lila Brown, Delanie Gilliland. Glenwood: Ali Hamilton, Kaylee Stone. Western: Jordyn Haggy. Symmes Valley: Taylor Webb. Eastern: Katie Newsome. Green: Kame Sweeney . East: Sadie Williams.
Second Team: Notre Dame: Cassie Schaefer, Taylor Schmidt. Clay: Shaelyn Vasser, Taylor Lewis. Glenwood: Mariah Buckley, Brianna Humble. Western: Carigan Haggy, Kylie Tong. Symmes Valley: Kaitlyn Crabtree, Kinley Patterson. Eastern: Skylar White. Green: Kori Derifield. East: Kacie Bell.
Player of the Year: Lexi Smith-Notre Dame
Defensive Player of the Year: Jensen Warnock-Clay
Coach of the Year: Kelsey Glockner-Notre Dame
Order of Finish: Notre Dame (14-0), Clay (12-2), Glenwood (10-4), Western (7-7), Symmes Valley (7-7), Eastern 4-10), Green (N/A), East (1-13).
SOC II Overview
In the SOC II realm, it was the Lady Pirates who were partying again at the end of the day as Wheelersburg swept all three of the major awards en route to another 14-0 conference slate, a Division III District Championship, and a regional berth that ultimately resulted in a 23-3 overall record.
Allen Perry, who took to the Lady Pirates to the Division III, Region 11 Semifinals in his first season with the program after coming over from South Point, obtained Coach of the Year honors, while Abbie Kallner (638 assists, 141 digs, 22 aces) and Ellie Ruby (523 digs, 35 aces) took home the SOC II’s Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards, respectively, to make it a clean sweep for Wheelersburg. Ruby ultimately finished with 1,272 digs, 1,088 service receptions, and 124 aces in 307 sets played over the course of her varsity career, while Kallner, who already has 1,239 assists in just three seasons, has an outside shot at obtaining 2,000 in 2018.
Behind Wheelersburg, Valley, who finished 9-5 en route to a third-place finish in the conference, put multi-sport standouts Marissa Markins and Kirbi Sommers on the first team and placed Bailee Day, along with Faith Brown, on the second team squad. South Webster, who followed with an 8-6 overall mark, put Hannah Spergin (388 digs, 35 aces) on the first team, while Olivia Messer (254 kills, 234 digs, 32 aces) earned second team accolades.
Like South Webster, Minford, Northwest, and West put one player apiece on the first and second team units, with Maddie Slusher, Abby Baer, and Emily Hatfield representing all three schools on the first team. The Lady Falcons’ Zoe Doll, the Lady Mohawks’ Mollie Ferrar, and the Lady Senators’ Mackenzie Newlan were the second team honorees from each school. Waverly and Oak Hill, who finished 10-4 and 1-13 in the SOC II, respectively, combined to place seven additional honorees on the SOC squads.
First Team: Wheelersburg: Ellie Ruby, Abbie Kallner, Alli McQuay, Mallory Bergan. Waverly: Hailie Silcott, Jessie Silcott, Stefanie Stewart. Valley: Marissa Markins, Kirbi Sommers. South Webster: Hannah Spergin. Northwest: Abby Baer. Minford: Maddie Slusher. West: Emily Hatfield. Oak Hill: Caitlyn Brisker.
Second Team: Wheelersburg: Mia Darnell, Adyson Rase. Waverly: Kami Knight, Carli Knight. Valley: Bailee Day, Faith Brown. South Webster: Olivia Messer, Elizabeth Rockwell. Northwest: Mollie Ferrar. Minford: Zoe Doll. West: Mackenzie Newlan. Oak Hill: Taylor Ross.
Player of the Year: Abbie Kallner-Wheelersburg
Defensive Player of the Year: Ellie Ruby-Wheelersburg
Coach of the Year: Allen Perry-Wheelersburg
Order of Finish: Wheelersburg (14-0), Waverly (10-4), Valley (9-5), South Webster (8-6), Northwest (6-8), Minford (5-9), West (3-11), Oak Hill (1-13).
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT