Cavs place four on All-SWD volleyball team
by Allen Worrell
After sweeping the Southwest District regular season and tournament championships, Carroll County’s volleyball team has been recognized with four players on the All-SWD team.
After tying the Cavaliers for the regular season championship before losing a one-game playoff, Marion also had a strong showing in all-district voting, taking both the Player of the Year (Amanda Henshew) and Coach of the Year (Callie Mellinger) honors.
Like Marion, Carroll placed two players on the all-district first-team in junior Jessica Sheek and sophomore Eustacia Smith. Senior Autumn Hill and junior Megan Alderman were tabbed to the All-SWD second team, while Rachel Farmer, Samantha Hill, Ashton Huff, Grace Lindsey and Cheyenne Strickland all received honorable mention accolades.
Sheek and Smith, both outside hitters, finished one and two in most offensive categories to help lead the Cavaliers to a 19-5 season, including a stretch of 18 wins in 19 contests. Smith led Carroll in kills with 342 and aces with 39. She finished third on the team in blocks with 39 and led the Cavs with 326 service points, although Sheek finished with a higher per-game average. Smith was also second on the team in digs with 207. She also earned All-Region IV honorable mention accolades.
Sheek finished the season with 318 service points with a team-leading 4.2 service points per game. She was second on the team in kills (219), aces (34) and blocks (39), and fourth in digs (106). Sheek also was honored to the All-Region IV second team.
Junior setter Alderman earned her way onto the All-SWD second team by leading the Cavs with 339 assists, more than twice as many as anyone else for Carroll. Alderman also finished third on the team in digs (158), serving percentage (.929) and aces (26). She was fourth in serving points per game (2.8).
One of two seniors, Hill placed third on the team in kills with 140 and fourth in serving percentage (.928). The right side hitter also was fourth in blocks (30).
Junior libero Grace Lindsey had a big year for Carroll, leading the team in digs (250) and serving percentage (.961), while placing third on the squad in aces (26) and serving points (288) to head the list of honorable mentions.
A sophomore middle hitter, Farmer led the team in blocks by a large margin with 92 and was fourth in kills with 110. A senior, Huff setter was third on the team in assists with 130 and sixth in both serving percentage (.926) and serving points (171).
Junior Samantha Hill was one of Carroll’s most important players as she served a number of roles on this year’s team.
“She played a little bit of everything, back row, right side hitter, she was so valuable because we were able to move her around and she filled so many roles for us,” Carroll County head coach Cindy Edwards said. “If you get a kid like that and can move them around and play anywhere, that is very valuable to the team. She did a great job with that.”
Sophomore setter Cheyenne Strickland was also a vital part of this year’s Cavalier team, finishing second on the team in assists (165) and serving percentage (93.7 percent). Strickland also placed fifth on the team in digs with 79.
Haven Leland –Abingdon; Jessica Sheek - Carroll County; Eustacia Smith - Carroll County; Callei Mellinger – Marion; Bailey Ratliff – Marion; Rachel Alley – Richlands
Taylor Blevins – Abingdon; Taylor Stewart – Abingdon; Megan Alderman - Carroll County; Autumn Hill – Carroll County; Kate Pennington – Marion; Jordan Williams – Marion
Coach of the Year- Amanda Henshew-Marion
Player of the Year-Callie Mellinger –Marion
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