The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

High School Sports

December 1, 2013

GE’s Brown, Shaver make AAA all-state first team

Prep volleyball

State tournament finalist Greenbrier East has placed three players on the Class AAA All-State volleyball teams, released today by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.

Abby Brown, a junior hitter and setter, claims a first-team spot for the second consecutive year. She’s joined on the first team by senior hitter-blocker Katie Shaver, while senior Ellen Henthorn was named to the second team.

Brown was a key contributor in getting the Spartans to the state title match for the first time in school history. She produced 724 downed spikes, 484 assists, was one dig shy of 500 and also added 145 aces, 42 blocks and made just 45 serve-receive errors in nearly 700 chances.

“Abby is one of the best players to come through East,” coach Matt Sauvage said. “Her skills speak for themselves, but her knowledge of the game separates her from other players.”

Shaver dished out 916 assists, had 431 kills, 40 aces, 35 blocks and picked up 316 digs.

“Katie has worked hard to become one of the best players in the state,” Sauvage said.  I’m very proud of her.”

State player of the year Taylor Lord, who led Musselman to a state championship with a finals match-high 15 kills, was honored as the first-team captain. One of a quartet of 11th-graders on the first team, she joins Brown as the only repeat selections from a year ago.

“Anytime you’ve got someone with her all-around skills, she makes such a difference in so many ways,” said Musselman head coach Shawn Martz, whose squad swept Greenbrier East in the state finals.

Lord, who fought some shoulder issues during the season, compiled 567 kills, 293 digs, 28 aces, 25 blocks and had a 2.35 (of 3.0) passer rating.

Parkersburg’s Alexandra Dils and Spring Valley’s Kassidy Lemons are the other two juniors on the first unit.

The Big Reds’ Dils, whose season ended against Musselman in the state semifinals, notched 566 kills, 95 solo blocks, 68 block assists, 25 digs and 17 aces. Lemons, whose team fell in the other semifinal to Greenbrier East, put down 435 kills, had 478 digs and served for 57 aces.

Seniors comprised the other six spots on the all-state first team.

Musselman (Autumn Bartles), Greenbrier East (Shaver) and Spring Valley (Megan Morrison) each landed a second player. Bartles was able to leave with a state title after settling for runner-up finishes each of the past two years. She produced 140 kills, 100 aces, 440 assists, 183 digs and 23 blocks.  Morrison, a 96-percent server who had 72 aces, also had 296 kills and 263 digs.

The other three first-team members were Parkersburg South’s Kayleigh Rexroad (211 kills, 78 solo blocks, 31 block assists, 44 aces, 119 digs), George Washington’s Jessica Sayre and Leah Blend of Buckhannon-Upshur. Blend, who joined Shaver as the only players to move up from last year’s second team, tallied 435 kills, 121 blocks and 93 aces. Sayre, GW’s libero, served at 93.1 percent, had 52 aces, 416 digs and handled nearly 600 opposing serves.

State quarterfinalist Capital had the second-team captain in senior Tahje Houston.

East’s Henthorn, a senior, has over 1,000 digs and 300 aces in her career.

Also earning second-unit honors were Martinsburg’s Sophie Foster, Hedgesville’s Hannah Weaver, St. Albans’ Maura James, Musselman’s Kaitlin Ferretti, Parkersburg’s Lyxi Reeder, Parkersburg South’s Kasey Williams, Mackenzie Leigh of Buckhannon-Upshur and Morgantown’s Rachel Gantzer.

— Jay Bennett of The News and Sentinel and Dan Stillwell of The Register-Herald contributed to this story

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