First teamBrittany Hayes, Seton: One of the Roadrunners’ ‘Big 3,’ the senior outside hitter was a superb performer throughout the season and the playoffs. She amassed 370 kills, 361 digs, 59 service aces, 19 block assists and nine solo blocks this fall. Hayes collected 57 kills and 41 digs during the Roadrunners’ three playoff victories, including 30 in the five-set championship match triumph against top-seeded Good Counsel. She was selected to the All-WCAC first team this fall.
Shelly Engel, Grace Brethren: Making her first appearance on the first team, the senior middle hitter capped a solid career with a superb season. Engel led the 14-4 Eagles with 198 kills, 109 service aces from 211 service winners, 46 blocks, 39 digs and added 83 assists. A versatile, all-around player, Engel plans to attend Liberty University next fall and eventually follow in the footsteps of both her parents and fly military fighter planes.
Katie Donovan, Pallotti: In her second full season as the Panthers’ setter, Donovan ascended amassed more than 250 assists while lofting sets to outside hitters Kelly Williams and Lynn Brown and middle hitter Ashley Lyles. The senior collected 89 digs, 43 service aces and made 19 kills in limited time at the net. She was also chosen as an all-star for the Fragile X Classic Tournament. Already selected as the school’s ‘‘most athletic female” among graduating seniors, Donovan is also on pace to be the class valedictorian.
Joanna Murray, Bowie: Promoted to the first team after being selected to the second team as a junior, the senior outside hitter played with pride and passion for the 13-5 Bulldogs. Asked to play a variety of roles, Murray collected 146 kills, 57 assists, 39 digs, 11 blocks and led the Bulldogs with 90 service aces and 224 service winners. She established a Maryland state playoff record with 12 consecutive service winners last season in the state semifinals against Magruder. Murray, who plans to attend Manhattan, Catholic, James Madison, Rider or Salisbury next fall, will play for the Team Force 18’s travel team this winter.
Flavia Amariei, High Point: Solid all-around player and one of the Eagles’ senior leaders, Amariei excelled at every facet of the game for the 4A South champions. Amariei collected 144 kills, 97 digs, 44 assists and 23 blocks. Amariei also gave opponents trouble with her serves and she played a key role in the Eagles’ victories against three-time region champion Bowie in the region semifinals and again over Northwestern in the region final.
Kelly Williams, Pallotti: One of the most powerful outside hitters in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference, Williams helped the Panthers to a 13-9 mark and appearance in the league quarterfinals. A three-year starter and all-around player for the Panthers, the junior collected 157 kills, 95 digs and 67 service aces. Williams, who played club volleyball for Maryland Juniors, will be among the county’s best returning players next fall. She was selected to the All-IAAM A team this season.
Jessica Bradford, Seton: An instrumental part of Seton’s ability to claim the WCAC championship this fall, the junior did an outstanding job as the setter. With Philbrick and Hayes winding up for kills on the outside, Bradford collected 782 set assists, 85 digs, 71 service aces, 63 kills, 37 blocks and 21 block assists. Hayes compiled 119 assists during the Roadrunners’ three WCAC playoff victories, including 45 in the championship match against Good Counsel.
Meghan Alger, McNamara: In her first year with the Mustangs, the sophomore had an immediate impact. The 6-foot-2, middle hitter recorded 159 kills and 104 blocks after transferring from St. Mary’s Ryken. Alger also possesses a wicked overhand serve that enabled her to record 46 aces. With seven seniors graduating from this year’s squad, Alger will be one of the cornerstones for the Mustangs the next two seasons.
Brittney Dildy, High Point: Like Amariei, Dildy played a number of important roles for the 18-1 Eagles. Not only did she attain nearly 200 kills this fall, the senior also provided lofty sets for her teammates and gave opponents trouble with her serves, tallying 87 aces from 221 service winners. Dildy rose to the occasion in the 4A South Region final victory against Northwestern, collecting 17 kills in the Eagles’ three-game sweep of the Wildcats.
Player of the year: Ali Philbrick
Arguably the best all-around player in the tough Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, where she attained first-team status, Philbrick played a vital role in Elizabeth Seton’s championship success this fall. Making her second appearance on the Star/Gazette all-county first team, Philbrick amassed 365 kills, added 332 digs, had 148 service aces, 14 solo blocks and nine block assists and chipped in six set assists. During the Roadrunners’ three playoff victories, Philbrick collected 57 kills and added 37 digs and 14 aces, getting 19 kills and seven aces in a five-set victory against Good Counsel in the WCAC championship. Philbrick was also a member of the Seton squad that captured the 2003 WCAC crown. Philbrick is considering attending the University of Maryland or Fairleigh Dickinson next year.
Coach of the year: Shirley Diggs
In her second stint with High Point, Diggs elevated the squad to its first state semifinal appearance in 26 years. With a senior-laden group molded by her predecessor and former player, Monica Welch, Diggs guided the Eagles through an unbeaten league schedule and then victories against Douglass, Bowie and Northwestern in the 4A South Region tournament. Diggs, who also replaced Ernie Welch as the school’s athletic director this fall, steered the Eagles to 18 consecutive victories before they were swept by Dulaney in the 4A state semifinals at the University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum last month.
Samantha Herbert, Parkdale
Laura Burzenski and Caasi Lilly, Bowie
Anna Ruta, Laurel
Lynn Brown, Carla Hill and Ashley Lyles, Pallotti
Tianna Rhodes, Central
Jacky Velasquez and Breaun Garner, Northwestern
Tiana Strother, Ashley Harris and Alexandra Rudolph, Flowers
Ashlee Merritt and Jade Walker, McNamara
Courtney Lancaster and Cheryl Savoy, High Point
Allison Lyke and Mia Douglas, Oxon Hill
Ann Graham, Douglass
Brandi Newman and Jill McLaughlin, Roosevelt
Kayla Spears and Shrice Dillard, Gwynn Park
Rhonda Curry, Grace Brethren
Janet Carroll, Seton