Player of the Year
While most players play one position, the Northwestern High senior played numerous roles for the 9-6 Wildcats. On a team where she was clearly the primary player, Velazquez helped the Wildcats with her hitting, passing, setting and serving. As an outside hitter, Velazquez amassed 203 kills, added 84 blocks, 71 assists and 38 aces from 146 service winners. Although she has yet to commit to a college, Velazquez plans to continue her playing days next fall.
Coach of the Year
In her sixth season with Eleanor Roosevelt High, Lloyd guided the squad to 19 straight victories including the county championship over previously undefeated Friendly and then the 4A South Region title. The soft-spoken Lloyd gave most of the credit to her players and longtime assistant coach Sharon Howard. Roosevelt won its second straight county and first 4A South Region title since 2001.
Meghan Alger, McNamara: The senior middle hitter makes her third consecutive appearance on the Gazette-Star first team. Alger again proved to be a force in the middle for the 10-9 Mustangs, leading the team with 148 kills, 74 service winners and 83 blocks. She also added 34 digs and six set assists during the season. Alger was selected to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference first team for the first time this fall.
Dominique Daniels, High Point: The athletic and tenacious senior outside hitter helped the Eagles emerge as the second seed in the 4A South Region and reach the region final. Daniels led the Eagles with 178 kills and added 39 blocks, 28 digs and 17 assists. Daniels was also one of the team’s most consistent servers, recording 167 winners and 31 aces.
Terri Kellaher, Bowie: In only her second full season at the varsity level, the senior handled the difficult task of playing the libero spot superbly thanks to her versatility, hustle and passing skills. She led the Bulldogs in digs (229), service winners (161) and aces (44) while adding 54 assists while replacing the team’s injured setter for three matches. Kellaher switched from setter to libero after breaking her left hand playing softball last spring.
Nadeige Chop, Flowers: Making her first appearance on the first team, the junior outside hitter led the Jaguars with 133 kills and was tied with teammate Takor Njang for most service aces with 61. One of the best all around players in the county, Chop will be a returning team captain and is in line to become the school’s 2009 valedictorian with a 4.3 GPA. She is on pace to become the school’s all-time leader in kills, blocks and aces.
Kim Banocy, Pallotti: The senior setter displayed considerable improvement in each of her four seasons with the Panthers and emerged as one of the team’s best all-around players. Banocy led the Panthers with 212 assists, 74 digs and added 30 service aces from 119 winners. In the tough Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference, Banocy was one of the primary reasons the Panthers remained competitive with several of the best teams in the state.
Megan Reilly, Roosevelt: Considered by her coach as the heart of the team, the senior setter was valuable with her serving, setting and passing skills for the 4A South Region champs. Reilly led the team with 205 service winners, including 30 aces and added 124 assists, four kills and three blocks. She covered the floor superbly and could pass the ball to teammates while moving.
Brooke Wilson, Roosevelt: Making her second straight appearance on the first team, the senior outside hitter was one of the primary reasons the Raiders reached the 4A state semifinals for the first time in six years. An athletic, powerful hitter, Wilson led the team with 196 kills and added 36 aces from 201 service winners. Wilson had eight kills in the 4A state semifinal setback against Wootton. She has signed a letter of intent to play basketball for George Washington University.
Stephanie Neal, Friendly: Clearly the most dominant player in the County 3A/2A/1A League, the senior guided the Patriots to a perfect regular season and a berth in the county championship match against Eleanor Roosevelt. Neal led the Patriots with 188 kills and 54 blocks and added 41 assists and 29 digs. She also displayed a jump serve that netted 154 service winners and 61 aces.
Brittney Tyler, Riverdale Baptist: The junior played a major role in the Crusaders’ 15-1 season and berth in the Maryland Independent Schools Athletic League championship match. Tyler recorded 238 assists, added 147 kills and collected 87 service aces among 254 service winners. She was selected to the league’s first team and was named the MISAL player of the year.
Heather Garnto, Brittany Gilbert and Siri Ngundam, Bowie; Minjote Mekonen, Bolajoko Somade and Lauren Sanders, High Point; Ashley Morse, Takor Njang and Sydney Hare, Flowers; Funmi Akinyode and Mercedes Maynard, Roosevelt; Evann Slaughter and Courtney Gee, Oxon Hill; Nydia Bryan-Green and Taylor Allen, Elizabeth Seton; Aileena Flynn and Temara Weems, McNamara; Christi Cheav, DuVal; Christelle Tiagmi, Parkdale; Carrie Martin, Gwynn Park; Germaine Lawrence, Wise; Kaitlyn O’Hara and LailaAnthony, Pallotti; Ataira Franklin, Riverdale Baptist; Yesenia Cruz, Northwestern; Rasheda Baugh, Bladensburg; Liz Guevara, Laurel.