All-Area Volleyball: Ruth Harrington and Meagan Milligan top players
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
by Jeff Greer
LARGE SCHOOLS VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
RUTH HARRINGTON, OUTSIDE HITTER, BOCA RATON, SR.
Boca Raton arrived in Kissimmee with a huge chip on its shoulder. The Bobcats were there in 2009, and left as hard-luck losers in the state semifinals.
Ruth Harrington, who was a freshman on that 2009 team, never forgot how she felt when she walked off the court. That drive came through in her team's return to Kissimmee in November, when Boca won its first state championship in program history with a five-set win over Winter Park, the team that ended Boca's run three years earlier.
"That was something that always kept me and (Boca Raton coach Amanda Angermeier) motivated," Harrington said as she walked off the court at the state championships. "We wanted to get back here and play up to the moment."
Harrington's composure and easy-going attitude kept Boca's young squad together as it navigated its way through back-to-back nail biters, first rallying from a 2-1 set deficit in the state semis and then coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the finals.
In the championship match, Harrington tallied 18 kills and 16 digs, the kind of well-rounded performance that made her a unanimous choice among area coaches for Player of the Year. She broke Boca's school record for career and single-season kills in the process, and is now working on landing a spot to play college volleyball next fall.
"Ruth is everything you want in a player," Angermeier said after the title match. "She does everything we need and she always keeps everyone loose."
LARGE SCHOOLS FIRST TEAM
Madison Ahearn, Dwyer, outside hitter, Sr.
Battled injuries all season but still posted 254 digs, 242 kills and 133 service points for the Panthers.
Sydney Kantor, Boca Raton, libero, So.
The anchor of Boca's defense, played critical role in Bobcats' state-championship run with 419 digs.
S: Libby Vilmar, Boca Raton, setter, Jr.
First full season as Bobcats' setter, grew into role with 1,014 assists and 231 service points.
Sophia Servideo, Jupiter, setter, Sr.
Smooth, calming influence for Warriors tallied 888 assists. Called area's best setter by several coaches.
Sydney Shinn, Wellington, middle blocker, Sr.
Grew into role as Wolverines' main offensive talent, totaling 268 kills, 152 digs and 77 blocks.
Chelsea Boretti, Wellington, setter, Jr.
Helped engineer a near-upset of Boca in the first round of playoffs. Finished season with 790 assists and 183 digs.
Bayley Cook, Royal Palm Beach, outside hitter, Jr.
Best player on a regional finalist while playing with a torn MCL that required surgery after the season.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Amanda Angermeier, Boca Raton
Fifth-year coach guided Bobcats to a 31-1 season and their first state title in program history just three years after their first trip to state.
LARGE SCHOOLS SECOND TEAM
Victoria Penrod, Dwyer, libero, Sr.
Defensive rock for a talented Panthers' team, churned out 524 digs and 142 service points. Will play for Mercer University.
Cara Guthrie, Jupiter, outside hitter, So.
Super-talented sophomore led young Jupiter with 193 service points, 236 digs and 191 kills.
Cassidy Hughes, Boca Raton, defensive specialist, Sr.
Totaled 171 service points and 154 digs as a key cog in Boca's defensive unit.
Katie LaPorte, Boca Raton, middle blocker, Sr.
Strong middle for Bobcats, finished with 189 kills and 49 blocks for state champs.
Abbie Jo Schlecter, outside hitter, Wellington, Sr.
Inspired and versatile player carried Wolverines all year, with 258 kills, 249 digs and 51 aces.
Kelsey Parry, middle hitter, Palm Beach Gardens, Sr.
Big-time leaper and all-around player had 220 kills, 101 digs and 74 blocks.
Becky Schickley, Park Vista, outside hitter, Sr.
Cobras' go-to offensive player for a team hobbled by injuries all season.
LARGE SCHOOLS HONORABLE MENTION
Boca Raton: Charlotte Earnhardt, Jayci Fischer, Brittany Goldschmidt, Haley Little, Kara Mason; Dwyer: Emma Bottenfield, Nicole Mejias, Haley Mitchell, Abby Washam; John I. Leonard: Shelby Carrigan, Katelyn King; Jupiter: April Graham, Dani Jaffe, Breeanna Navarro, Molly Webb; Olympic Heights: Ashley Cheewah; Palm Beach Central: Danielle Vollender; Palm Beach Gardens: Logan Green, Samantha Kanach, Brigtitte Zavithsanos; Park Vista: Kyndal Burdin, Jordan Sullivan, Nashali Vasquez; Royal Palm Beach: Victoria Bailey, Brianne Cook, Gabby Marionakis, Bailey Williams; Seminole Ridge: Alexis Jordan, Megan O'Hara; Spanish River: Savannah Fruin, Brooke Mesner, Kari Peterson, Anna Stolk; Wellington: Shelby Babowicz, Olivia McDaniel; West Boca Raton: Monica Shevock, Kelli Wise.
SMALL SCHOOLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
MEAGAN MILLIGAN, LAKE WORTH CHRISTIAN, MIDDLE BLOCKER, SR.
When Meagan Milligan left Lake Worth Christian last school year, the Defenders changed from a squad boasting major size up front to a team needing guile and resilience. She'd been a major component of Lake Worth Christian's intimidating front line and was a fixture on The Post All-Area teams.
Turns out last year's team had enough to win a state title, which had eluded Lake Worth Christian coach Terri Kaiser for more than three decades. But when Milligan, who spent her junior year playing for a South Carolina high school, returned to Lake Worth Christian for one final run with the Defenders, everything seemed a lot easier.
Lake Worth Christian still possessed the crafty smaller players it had the year before, but adding the 6-footer back to its front line made it virtually impossible to find a crack in the Defenders' lineup.
Milligan lived up to her hyped return, too, with 362 kills, 101 blocks and even 162 service points. She earned the Class 2A Florida Dairy Farmers' Player of the Year award.
"Having Meagan back for this run has been a blessing," Kaiser said after the state-title match.
That's almost an understatement. Milligan's return made Lake Worth Christian an even more powerful state champion.
SMALL SCHOOLS FIRST TEAM
Amanda King, Lake Worth Christian, setter, Sr.
Versatile team leader put together MVP-caliber season with 580 assists, 202 kills, 76 blocks and 280 service points.
Kristen Reid, Lake Worth Christian, outside hitter, Sr.
Last year's Player of the Year had another standout season, with 521 digs and 241 kills for state champs.
Elizabeth Owens, Lake Worth Christian, middle blocker, So.
Next star-in-the-making for Defenders tallied 157 kills and 46 blocks.
Sofia Sanchez, Summit Christian, outside hitter, Jr.
Another season, another stellar run of performances by Summit's talented outside attacker.
Keelin Severtson, Cardinal Newman, setter, Sr.
New Hampshire-bound setter compiled 276 assists, 174 kills,120 digs, 85 service points, 61 blocks and 45 aces.
Kirsten Nowak, Suncoast, middle blocker, So.
Intimidating net presence had 216 kills and 67 blocks for district runner-up.
Jessica Armstrong, Benjamin, middle blocker, Jr.
Finished with 157 kills, 114 digs and 38 blocks for district champion Buccaneers.
SMALL SCHOOLS COACH OF THE YEAR
Terri Kaiser, Lake Worth Christian
After a long drought of empty-handed state-tournament runs, the longtime coach led the Defenders to their second consecutive state championship.
SMALL SCHOOLS SECOND TEAM
Missy Reid, Lake Worth Christian, defensive specialist, Jr.
Key defensive cog for state champions, posted 295 digs, 262 service points and 62 aces.
Emily Lampman, Lake Worth Christian, libero, Fr.
Big-time potential as libero for area's best small-school team, totalling 572 digs.
Amanda Lake, Boca Christian, middle blocker/outside hitter, So.
Young talent finished with 209 kills, 120 digs and 30 blocks for regional semifinalists.
Kimmy Hummel, Boca Christian, setter, Jr.
Offensive engineer dished out 403 assists and added 113 digs.
Casey Nicklaus, Benjamin, outside hitter, Jr.
Right-side hitter helped Jessica Armstrong form tough Benjamin front line.
Rachel Dunlay, Jupiter Christian, setter, Sr.
Posted 221 assists and 65 aces for Eagles.
Macie Tendrich, St. Andrew's, libero, Jr.
Collected 182 digs for district runner-up and one of area's top small-schools teams.
SMALL SCHOOLS HONORABLE MENTION
American Heritage: Taylor Pak; Benjamin: Julie Bicknell, Savannah Logan; Boca Raton Christian: Elise Hadden; Cardinal Newman: Aubrey Logan; Donna Klein: Brynna Kaplan, Taylor Starr; Glades Day: Donna Lewis; Jupiter Christian: Natalie Dunlay, Rachel Dunlay, Madeline Moore; King's Academy: Grace Evans; Lake Worth Christian: Devin Rohack, Britt Smith, Hannah Tannone; Pope John Paul II: Meaghan Donahue, Lauren Miko; St. Andrew's: Sarah Adams, Kendall Korey, Allie Russo; Suncoast: Allison Fandrey, Emily Hayes, Kayla Hess, Clementine Pouille; Wellington Christian: Sarah Best, Nikki Leeder.
BEST OF THE TREASURE COAST
Fort Pierce Central: Roneisha Jordan; Jensen Beach: Meghan Conway, Brooke Fasciana, Evin Foster; John Carroll: Kaylyn Evans, Elena Garcia, Rachel Windle; Martin County: Arianna Bethel, Danielle Dodge, Madisen Lydon