Seahawks, Tigers highlight all-area volleyball team

Published 11:14 am Friday, November 21, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Once again another fantastic volleyball season has come to an end, but it won’t be forgotten anytime soon. The perennial powerhouse Williamston Tigers won another Atlantic Conference regular season title, and there is no doubt they will look to build on that streak next year with Heather Jackson and Katie Paschal both returning.
Southside, which placed second in the Atlantic Conference during the regular season, put on a show late in the season with its upset over the Tigers in the conference tournament. The Seahawks too will be a force to reckon with next year under with coach Elizabeth Pruden back for her third year.
Northside had an up and down season, put was able to make it into the playoffs, while Jamesville was able to put together a stellar season and win the Tideland Conference.
Overall there have been plenty of great players this year, but here are a few that rose to the top and made the WDN All-Area Volleyball Team.
Heather Jackson, setter, Williamston
One of the most complete volleyball players in the area, Williamston setter Heather Jackson was looked upon for more than just assists. Jackson proved to be a phenomenal server, racking up 167 service points, and always provided big serves when the team needed them most.
Jackson also showed tremendous hustle on the defensive end, and was really a strong leader on a very good Williamston team.
Mandi Harding, middle hitter, Southside
Mandi Harding’s game improved leaps and bounds this season for the Seahawks, as she helped lead the team to an Atlantic Conference Tournament title and a trip to the second round of the playoffs. As a junior, Harding showed promise, but as a senior she was able to bring it all together. Like Williamston’s Jackson, Harding is a complete player and a good team leader. Harding tallied 118 kills on the offensive end, and 38 blocks on defense. Harding was also the glue that kept the Seahawks’ team together when the team would hit a snag on the court.
Danielya Whitney, outside hitter, Southside
Quite possibly the most explosive spiker in the area, Danielya Whitney kept opposing defenses shaking in their Nikes whenever a set came her way. On the season, Whitney smashed 156 kills, and racked up 44 blocks. At the net, Whitney was the perfect compliment to Harding, and together they provided a great presence up front for Southside.
Elizabeth Ange, middle hitter, Jamesville
One of the best athletes in the area, Elizabeth Ange was able to lead Jamesville to a 16-3 (9-1) record and a Tideland Conference championship. Though she as not as tall as most middle hitters, Ange dominated the position tallying 11 kills per match. Overall, Ange accounted for 14 points per match. Ange also had a huge presence on the floor and was one of the Bullets’ team leaders.
Lauren Webb, setter, Bear Grass
Bear Grass coach David Eubanks raved about Lauren Webb’s play, and with good reason. Webb led the Bears to an 13-8 (6-4) record, and scored over 100 points on the season. A four-year starter for Bear Grass, Eubanks said that Webb had her most outstanding year by far in 2008, and that her play was invaluable to the Bears this season.
Amanda Beirne, outside hitter, Northside
A real steady presence on an up-and-down team, Northside’s Amanda Beirne could always be counted on to play her ‘A’ game every night. Beirne excelled at all phases of the game, and featured a powerful spike along with a steady serve. On the season, Beirne had 56 kills, and on defense was able to scoop up an astounding 82 digs. Beirne also notched 25 aces for the year.
All-Area Second Team
Jessica Clemmons, Williamston
Dot Jones, Southside
Kayla Cerney, Northside
Kristen Ayers, Southside
Harris Shepherd, Williamston
Honorable Mention
Bear Grass
Casey Peaden
Elizabeth Taylor
Olivea Peaks
Corey Ange
Paige Lilley
Whitney Lewis
Jordan Cooke
Cameron Waters
Savanna Boyd
Brinkley Johnson
Tess Smithwick
Jodi Rose
Emoni Jones
Kirstie Roberson
Jaquandra Council
Treasure Draughn
Caitlin Bogart
Atyana Starkie
Becky Poole
Danyelle Jedlicka
Courtney Avery
Terra Ciea
Jade Keech
Catherine Smith
Erin Bowen
Emily Tadlock
Bailee Cowen
Blaklee Wolfe
Alex Everette
Sarah Nicholls
Destiny Tyson
Lillyann Arnold
Sierra Weatherington
Rachel Toler
Haley Hiatt