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Girls volleyball All-Area Team

Updated: January 2, 2013 6:09AM



First Team

Shannon Farrell

Munster junior hitter

By the numbers: 432 kills, 301 digs, 25 aces.

Raves: Farrell continued her dominance on region volleyball courts, guiding the Mustangs to a 12-0 NCC record (28-8 overall). The junior shined bright in the sectional final against Lake Central, recording five of her match-high 20 kills in the high-pressure fifth game but it wasn’t enough as her team couldn’t come away with their fifth straight sectional crown. Just some added motivation for Farrell and her teammates next year.

Shannon Doyle

Wheeler senior hitter

By the numbers: 507 kills, 350 digs, 106 aces.

Raves: This two-year all-area first-teamer had a tremendous career at Wheeler, helping the Bearcats to four sectional titles and the school’s first regional title in 2011. She guided the team to a 31-6 record this season and an undefeated season in the GSSC. She had 16 kills in the heart-breaking 3-2 loss to Rochester in the regional final.

Tarrah Lasky

Valparaiso senior setter

By the numbers: 820 assists, 308 digs, 33 aces.

Raves: The P-T Player of the Year was no doubt the most dominating player in the area, showing her true colors in the sectional when she recorded a total of 116 assists in the team’s three wins. She could take any pass and make it a majestic set — helping her hitters get all the glory. She won’t be too far away next season as she turns in her green and white for brown and gold at Valparaiso University.

Danielle Ellis

Lake Central sophomore libero

By the numbers: 508 digs, 91-percent passing, 17 aces.

Raves: No doubt the biggest reason LC won its first regional crown in 18 years was the defense from a gutsy and gritty sophomore in Ellis. Her play was exemplified in the team’s thrilling five-game sectional final win over Munster. She took it a step further with an almost equally impressive performance in the team’s regional win over Valparaiso.

Taylor Lebo

LaPorte senior hitter

By the numbers: 426 kills, 755 digs, 82 aces.

Raves: It wasn’t the way she hoped to finish her career but it was still a stellar season. She helped the Slicers win back the DAC with a 13-1 mark and give the school three titles in four years. She was named conference player of the year and is taking her game to Indiana University next season where she will play libero.

Kelly Wojciechowski

Andrean junior hitterBy the numbers:

364 kills, 288 digs, 42 aces.

Raves: She stepped up her game 10-fold in helping the 59ers repeat as sectional and regional champions. She filled a huge hole Taylor Mullen left behind when she graduated by averaging more than 10 kills per contest. The 59ers will likely be a force to be reckoned with again next year with Wojciechowski, Marija Nicksic and Lauren Stazinski all returning.

Second Team

Shelby Ruffner

Chesterton senior hitter

By the numbers: 343 kills, 141 blocks, 54 digs.

Raves: Chesterton had another strong season, thanks to Ruffner. The senior middle hitter recorded a school-record 141 block kills and 395 block touches as the Trojans gave LaPorte and Valparaiso fits in the DAC. The team’s dream to win the sectional title, however, ended at the hands of Crown Point in a five-game thriller in the semifinal.

Noelle Eveland

Valparaiso junior outside hitter

By the numbers: 370 kills, 253 digs, 19 aces.

Raves: What a transfer student Eveland turned out to be. She was exactly what the Vikings needed to continue to be a force in the DAC and postseason. The Vikings didn’t win the conference title, but they did win the more coveted sectional, winning three tough matches against LaPorte, Crown Point and Michigan City. Eveland was a monster against the Slicers in the sectional quarterfinal, recording a match-high 26 kills.

Nikki Garza

Lake Central senior setter

By the numbers: 554 assists, 55 aces, 284 digs.

Raves: She helped put LC back on the map with the school’s first sectional title in five years and first regional crown in 18 years. She was one of the team’s top players as her integral play was the difference in most contests for LC. She was also a big part in helping freshman hitter Tori Gardenhire blossom.

Gabby Martin

Kankakee Valley junior hitterBy the numbers:

426 kills, 57 aces, 309 digs.

Raves: Martin had a breakout season her sophomore year and impressed even more this season with a team-high 426 kills. The Kougars placed third in the NCC and lost to eventual sectional champ Andrean in a close five-game match. Martin is poised to make her senior year something to remember as KV hopes to end its sectional drought next season. Its last title came in 2004.

Tori Gardenhire

Lake Central freshman hitterBy the numbers:

328 kills, 58 aces, 27 blocks, 103 digs.

Raves: What an impressive freshman campaign. Gardenhire proved to be a huge cog in the middle as a huge weapon on offense and a big block on defense, helping LC to its second regional title. She stepped up big in sectionals as she helped the Indians knock off four-time defending champion Munster in five games.

Grace Cooper

Andrean senior setterBy the numbers:

844 assists, 57 aces, 307 digs.

Raves: Cooper had gigantic shoes to fill, following P-T player of the year Ana Nicksic. But she did a great job continuing the tradition that coach Julie Wiejak started last season as the 59ers repeated as sectional and regional champs. Cooper was a vocal leader on the court that was desperately needed when the season started and gave it all she had for Andrean all the way to the end.

Honorable Mention

Andrean: Marija Nicksic, Lauren Stazinski; Bishop Noll: Carly Cappello, Carissa Jones; Boone Grove: Morgan Marshall; Calumet: Danneyelle Thomas; Clark: Sara Kruszynski, Andrea Zamora; Chesterton: Katie Urycki, Sarah Tarnowski; Crown Point: Alyssa Kvarta, Emma Ogden; Gavit: Helen Shelton, Vanessa Burney; Griffith: Lisette Roldan, Hannah Miller; Hanover Central: Alex Plavsa, Kristen Roper; Highland: Brittany Fowler; Hobart: Caylie Pruitt, Grayce Roach; Kankakee Valley: Danielle Ruesken; Lake Central: Lauren DiNino, Julianne Epperson; LaPorte: Sierra Conklin, Amanda Brinkman, Sydnee Cooper; Lowell: Ashley DeBoer; Michigan City: Sarah Puckett; Morton: Nesreen Srour; Munster: Elizabeth Kloos, Mariana Rogers, Morgan Switalla; Portage: Mariah Wright; Rensselaer: Aimee Mattocks, Megan Dobson; River Forest: Kayla Smith; South Central: Briana Satoski; Valparaiso: Kate Bontrager; Washington Twp.: Lindsay Henry, Maddie Johnson, Sammy Higgins; Wheeler: Haley Plothow, Jordynn Parks, Natalie Roe; Whiting: Kaylyn Anderson, Briana Blackwell, Sam Bock

— Correspondent
Ryan Haskell



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