PARKERSBURG - Musselman's Taylor Lord, who led the Applemen to a state championship with a finals match-high 15 kills, was honored as the captain of the Class AAA all-state volleyball team as well as the state player of the year, announced today by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Lord, one of a quartet of 11th-graders on the first team, joined Greenbrier East's Abby 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.
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.
Parkersburg's Alexandra Dils and Spring Valley's Kassidy Lemons joined Lord and Brown as the other two juniors on the first unit.
The Class AAA all-state volleyball team released by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association:
Class AAA, FIRST TEAM
Taylor Lord, Musselman, JR (Captain)
Abby Brown, Greenbrier East, JR
Leah Blend, Buckhannon-Upshur, SR
Katie Shaver, Greenbrier East, SR
Megan Morrison, Spring Valley, SR
Alexandra Dils, Parkersburg, JR
Jessica Sayre, George Washington, SR
Autumn Bartles, Musselman, SR
Kassidy Lemons, Spring Valley, JR
Kayleigh Rexroad, Parkersburg South, SR
Tahje Houston, Capital, SR (Captian)
Ellen Henthorn, Greenbrier East, SR
Sophie Foster, Martinsburg, JR
Hannah Weaver, Hedgesville, SR
Maura James, St. Albans, SR
Mackenzie Leigh, Buckhannon-Upshur, SR
Kaitlin Ferretti, Musselman, JR
Lyxi Reeder, Parkersburg, SR
Kasey Williams, Parkersburg South, SR
Rachel Gantzer, Morgantown, Soph.
Special Honorable Mention
Darry Ross, Spring Valley; Kaleigh Barker, Princeton; Sara Tennant, John Marshall; Rachel Laskody, Morgantown; Kaci Dove, Musselman; Alexis Coalson, Shady Spring; Essence Underwood, Martinsburg; Amelia Edmondson, George Washington; Kacie Whitney, Ripley; Kelsey Matusic, Winfield; Mackenzie Cassidy, Cabell Midland; Taylor Fox, Hedgesville; Haley Bristow, Woodrow Wilson; Taylor Hamm, Princeton; Jayna Hurst, Capital
Shea Hoffman, South Charleston; Savannah Bryner, University; Tori Riffle, Lewis County; Kaitlin Farrah, Parkersburg; Courtney Burkhart, Capital; Angela Staffileno, Brooke; Sara Ling, Buckhannon-Upshur; Jordan McMillan, Oak Hill; Brooke Heck, Spring Valley; Logan Somerville, Pakersburg South; Kasie Bowman, St. Albans; Cierra Reuckle, Wheeling Park; Aaron Ward, Logan; Samantha Thompson, Lincoln County; Emma McClelland, Preston
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.
In fact, Musselman (Autumn Bartles), Greenbrier East (Katie 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. Shaver dished out 916 assists, had 431 kills, 40 aces, 35 blocks and picked up 316 digs. 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. Also earning second-unit honors were Greenbrier East's Ellen Henthorn, 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.