By Eric Jones
One is tall. The other can jump out of the gym.
But make no doubt, Woodrow Wilson’s Anne Patterson and Greenbrier East’s Abby Brown are two of the finest hitters in the state.
Both have earned first-team honors on the Class AAA all-state volleyball team, released today by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Patterson, a 6-foot-2 senior and four-year starter, did it all for Woodrow — hit, block, serve and lead.
“Anne plays with confidence, and she does everything well,” coach Shirley Brown said. “She plays with a smile.”
Patterson missed three weeks with a knee injury, but still had 501 kills and only 75 errors in 980 attempts. She also had 159 blocks.
Although the Flying Eagles mainly used her as a hitter and blocker, Patterson showed some prowess setting the ball on occasion.
In fact, Brown contemplated running a 6-2 offense and using Patterson as a second setter.
“Anne has beautiful hands,” Brown said, referring to her dexterity and soft touch with the volleyball.
“With her height, in college she could be a setter.”
Brown, a 5-8 sophomore, plays like more like a 6-2 senior for the Spartans.
“It’s not just skill. She understands the game on every level — she can read defense and read blocks,” coach Matt Sauvage said. “And she’s not just a front row player. She can bring it from anywhere.”
Brown, who helped East reach the state tournament, had 550 kills, 78 aces and 343 digs.
Her 53.1 kill percentage is the highest for any player Sauvage has coached, and her ace percentage of 22 was the second-highest.
“The best part is Abby is not even at her potential yet. She grew every week,” he said. “And she loves it. She lives for the game. She would practice three times a day if I’d let her.”
East middle hitter Kaitie Shaver was named to the second team.
The top vote-getter in the all-state balloting, Cabell Midland standout Cassie Weaver, captains the first team.
Weaver, a Marshall University signee, put up some of the biggest numbers in the state in every major category.
The Mountain State Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Weaver recorded 583 kills, 531 digs, 69 aces and 101 blocks in leading Cabell Midland to a 35-14-2 record. She finished with 1,500 digs and 1,852 kills for her career.
“Cassie is always trying to better herself whether it be with her hitting or her defense. Cassie is never satisfied with just mediocre play and is often harder on herself than most coaches would be on her,” stated Cabell Midland coach Cynthia Machmer.
That determination got Weaver on the first team for a second straight year. George Washington’s Hannah Shreve earned a third straight first-team pick. Musselman’s Corisha Smith was also a repeat first-team selection.
Shreve, a West Virginia University signee, led the Patriots to a state title with a 15-kill performance against the Applemen in the title game. For the year, she finished with 438 kills, 73 aces and 162 blocks.
Musselman’s Smith, an outside hitter, had 495 kills, 210 digs and 60 aces.
George Washington and Musselman each had an additional player on the first team for the first time. For the Patriots, setter Sydney Downey, who moved up from second team, recorded 1,336 assists, 172 digs and 111 aces. The Applemen’s Taylor Lord, just a sophomore, had a team-high 554 kills and 331 digs for state runner-up Musselman, which was in the state championship for the third straight year.
Of the remaining first-team selections, two were from Spring Valley, the 2011 champion and state semifinalist this year. Those players were senior captains Brittany Ritter and Kendra Pemberton. Ritter had 314 kills, 346 digs and 32 aces, while Pemberton had 1,028 assists, 102 kills, 342 digs and 57 aces.
Parkersburg’s Imani Ward, a second-team selection last season, rounds out the first team.
Ward helped the Big Reds reach the state semifinals, producing 479 kills, 242 digs and 60 blocks.
Parkersburg’s Paige Warner was chosen as the Class AAA second-team captain. The rest of the second-team selections included Huntington’s Alexis Williams, Winfield’s Carla Gunnewig, Princeton’s Haley Connor, George Washington’s Lexi Mourier, Cabell Midland’s Taylor Reidel, Musselman’s Kaitlin Ferretti, Buckhannon-Upshur’s Leah Blend, Greenbrier East’s Kaitie Shaver and Parkersburg South’s Lexi Spencer.
— Register-Herald Sports Writer Dan Stillwell contributed to this story.
Class AAA All-State Teams
The Class AAA all-state volleyball team released by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association:
Cassie Weaver, Cabell Midland, sr. (Capt.)
Hannah Shreve, George Washington, sr.
Corisha Smith, Musselman, sr.
Brittany Ritter, Spring Valley, sr.
Taylor Lord, Musselman, so.
Imani Ward, Parkersburg, sr.
Anne Patterson, Woodrow Wilson, sr.
Abby Brown, Greenbrier East, so.
Kendra Pemberton, Spring Valley, sr.
Sydney Downey, George Washington, sr.
Paige Warner, Parkersburg, sr. (Capt.)
Alexis Williams, Huntington, sr.
Carla Gunnewig, Winfield, Soph.
Haley Connor, Princeton, sr.
Lexi Mourier, George Washington, sr.
Taylor Reidel, Cabell Midland, sr.
Kaitlin Ferretti, Musselman, so.
Leah Blend, Buckhannon-Upshur, jr.
Kaitie Shaver, Greenbrier East, jr.
Lexi Spencer, Parkersburg South, sr.
SPECIAL HONORABLE MENTION
Emily Ernest, Woodrow Wilson; Mackenzie Leigh, Buckhannon-Upshur; Tahje’ Houston, Capital; Cassie Ford, Greenbrier East; Sarah Kelly, Spring Valley; Kaitlyn Semler, Hedgesville; Erin Jerden, Lewis County; Kayla Boggs, University; Madison Smith, Oak Hill; Sara Tennant, John Marshall; Aarron Ward, Logan; Kaitlynn Weaver, Ripley; Meredith Lauerman, South Charleston; Megan Morrison, Parkersburg; Kaylee Dickerson, Shady Spring; Casey Batt, Morgantown; Carly Greer, Wheeling Park; Cassidy Ferrari, Hedgesville
Kassidy Lemons, Spring Valley; Delaney Najar, Princeton; Jen Hatton, Morgantown; Sara Ferguson, Winfield; Ronni Vance, Logan; Kayleigh Rexroad, Parkersburg South; Angela Staffileno, Brooke; Karli Boober, Martinsburg; Jolyn Jurek, Musselman; Kaci Riffle, Point Pleasant; Sarah Arthur, George Washington; Jenny Brumfield, Cabell Midland; Sheree Claybourne, Riverside; Kelsey Robertson, Shady Spring; Maura James, St. Albans; Adriana Thomas, Woodrow Wilson; Elizabeata Leinhart, Washington