Player of the Year: Courtney Eckenrode, The Woodlands (Texas)Courtney Eckenrode
, who quarterbacked The Woodlands (Texas)
to a dream season with a perfect ending, is the 2013 MaxPreps National Volleyball Player of the Year.
In leading The Woodlands to a 45-0 season and MaxPreps' national championship
, Eckenrode averaged 9.8 assists (1,189 in 122 sets), 3.2 digs (386), and was a 93 percent server with 35 aces.
Highlander coach Leslie Madison said Eckenrode was everything she wanted and expected in a setter.
"As a former setter, I have very high expectations for my setters and demand a lot from them," said Madison. "I had the pleasure of coaching Courtney her entire high school career and, as talented as she was as a freshman, she continued to get better and better and better. As the setter I expect her to be the quarterback of the team. There are so many factors that go into being the quarterback that not everyone can do it — let alone do it successfully."
Eckenrode was named the state championship game's Most Valuable Player in addition to being District 14-5A MVP and being a Texas All-State selection.
Madison said Eckenrode, who also found time to record 86 kills, runs the court with ease.
"She has the ability to see the defense before she sets the ball, which very few high school setters can do," said Madison. "She has the ability to recognize our hitters and their matchups and she has the ability to put up a pretty close to perfect ball from anywhere on the court.
"Another thing I love about Courtney is that she is offensive-minded, so she is not afraid to be aggressive and score," said Madison. "On defense she plays bigger than her size, putting up a very good block and on back row and she is quick and consistent."
What sets Eckenrode above many other setters is her ability to set in difficult situations and to take full advantage of multiple strong hitters.
"A lot of high school teams only have one go-to hitter, or maybe two, and therefore your setting choices are not difficult. We had so many talented hitters that it required Courtney to make decisions closer to that of a college setter based more on what the other side had," said Madison. "Courtney is not a flashy setter and is extremely humble. She wants success for her hitters and for the team. She is calm on the court and consistent — something that the team and I could count on day in and day out."
Eckenrode has signed to play collegiately at San Diego State.
Coach of the Year: Tricia Plummer, Granite Bay (Calif.)
Plummer coached Granite Bay to a 45-0 season and the California Interscholastic Federation Division I championship.
Granite Bay won 114 of 120 sets in 2013, and no team was able to take the Lady Grizzlies to a fifth set. They lost just one set in postseason play (3-1 in the state finals over Los Alamitos).
"I'm honored to have had the opportunity to coach these girls and help them accomplish their goals," said Plummer. "They are amazing young ladies and phenomenal athletes. We have worked hard to maintain a high level of play throughout the season."
Plummer also said that strategy was a key contributor to the team's success this season.
"As a coach, my main goal is to give them the tools to be successful on the court. For this particular team that meant giving them information about our opponents' strengths and weaknesses," said Plummer. "We built game plans for success that were tailored to each team we faced. As a coach, I have never had the opportunity to coach a more talented group of girls. They have taught me so much and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity."Team of the Year: The Woodlands (Texas)
The Highlanders ran the table in 2013, winning all 45 matches and claiming the MaxPreps national championship.
In the postseason, The Woodlands won 21 sets and lost just one in capturing the Texas 5A championship.
During the season the Highlanders won three tournaments, including the prestigious Texas Volleyball Invitational. During the four month season, they won 117 sets while losing just five, and no team took them to a fifth set.
MaxPreps 2013 Volleyball All-American TeamFirst TeamOH - Azariah Stahl - Elkhart Central (Ind.), 5-11 Senior
Headed to Purdue, Stahl had 804 kills (7.7 average with a 68% kill ratio), 317 digs, 40 blocks and 31 service aces this past season in leading the Blazers (30-4) to the Class 4A state semifinals. An Under Armour All-American, Stahl recorded a .573 hitting percentage and is a two-time First Team All-State selection as named by the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association and was the state's Gatorade Player of the Year. She was also a member of the 2012 USA Women's Junior National Team.OH - Carli Snyder – Dakota (Macomb, Mich.), 6-1 Senior
Snyder, who was named Michigan's Miss Volleyball, was a dominant player who averaged 6.5 kills a game for Dakota (39-9). She finished her senior season with 583 kills and a .437 hitting percentage. A four-time Player of the Year in the Macomb Area Conference and a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year, Snyder finished with career school records of 2,703 kills, 1,851 digs and 491 aces. She was MVP of of the USA Junior Olympic Team and a first-team Under Armour All-American. She will play at Florida.OH - Courtney Crable - Mercy (Louisville, Ky.), 6-0 Senior
Crable, who was named Kentucky's Miss Volleyball, led Mercy (38-2) to a state runner-up finish. Their only losses were to state champion Assumption. She averaged 4.4 kills, served 73 aces (93%), blocked 168 shots (2.0 avg.), and had 97 digs. Crable, who will play at Auburn, was also an Under Armour All-American. OH - Alyssa Goehner – Lakeville North (Minn.), 5-11 Senior
Goehner, MaxPreps' 2012 Junior of the Year, turned in quite the encore with 631 kills (7.4 avg. and 50.2% hitting), in earning the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press Player of the Year honors for a second year in a row. Goehner, who has a 35-inch vertical leap, also had 56 service aces, 333 digs and 47 blocks in 2013. Also an Under Armour All-American, Goehner will attend Marquette.OH - Courtney Schwan - Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.), 6-3 Senior
The Washington signee powered the Lions to a second consecutive Class 4A title, a No. 4 national ranking and an unbeaten season. The three-time All-Tacoma Area Player of the Year averaged 5.1 kills per set, led Bellarmine in aces with 89 and was second in digs with 284. An Under Armour All-American and Seattle Times Player of the Year twice. Schwann is the state's Gatorade winner.OH - Reily Buechler - Torrey Pines (San Diego), 6-1 Senior
Buechler led Torrey Pines to a 33-4 season as she recorded 345 kills (4.6), 171 digs, 23 blocks and 314 serve receptions. Buechler led Torrey Pines to the San Diego Section Open Division championship and will play at UCLA next year. She was also a first team Under Armour All-American and she was San Diego Union's Player of the Year.
OH - Simone Lee - Menomonee Falls (Wis.), 6-2 Senior
Lee had 21 kills and 12 digs as Menomonee Falls swept Westosha Central for the Wisconsin Division I title. For the season, Lee averaged 5.4 kills per set, led the Indians in aces with 100 and blocks with 57, and was second in digs with 355. A two-time first team all-state selection, Lee is a 2013-14 First Team Under Armour All-American as named by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She was a member of the 2012 U.S. Women's Junior National Team and the 2013 USA Volleyball Girls' Youth National Team and was Wisconsin's Gatorade winner as a senior. She will play at Penn State.OH - Crissy Jones - Los Alamitos (Calif.), 6-2 Senior
Jones led Los Alamitos to the state finals. She recorded 607 kills (.342 pct.), 61 blocks, 340 digs and 26 aces. Jones, who will attend Washington, was the Orange County Register's Player of the Year and an Under Armour All-American first teamer.MH - Christina Ambrose – Winter Park (Fla.), 6-4 Senior
Florida's Volleyball Player of Year, Ambrose led the Wildcats to a 29-3 record and the Class 8A state championship this past season. She was also the state's Miss Volleyball selection as named by the Florida Dairy Farmers Association and an Under Armour All-American. Ambrose amassed 451 kills, 220 digs, 442 service aces and 43 blocks. She was named the Orlando Sentinel's Top Prep Volleyball Player. She will play at Purdue.MH - Haleigh Washington – Doherty (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 6-4 Senior
Washington led the Spartans to a 21-6 record and a fifth place finish at state. She had 589 kills (6.5 avg.), a .383 hitting percentage and a .523 kill percentage during the season. She is also a two-time Denver Post All-Colorado Player of the Year and state's Gatorade recipient. Washington's 48 kills in a season-opening win over eventual 5A champion Grandview set a state single-match kill record. She will play at Penn State.
S - Courtney Eckenrode - The Woodlands (Texas), 5-9 Senior
MaxPreps' Player of the Year led the Highlanders to a No. 1 national ranking and Texas 5A championship during their 45-0 season. She recorded 35 aces, 86 kills, 1,189 assists (9.8 per game), and 386 total digs (3.2 avg.). She was also an Under Armour All-American and the state's Gatorade recipient as top volleyball player. She will play at San Diego State.S - Taylor Nelson - Granite Bay (Calif.), 6-0 Senior
The Granite Bay senior concluded her high school career with 996 assists and 192 kills while leading Granite Bay to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship, NorCal title and the D-I state title. Granite Bay (45-0) finished the season ranked No. 3 in the nation. Nelson was also named the state's Gatorade POY winner. She has signed with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.S - Haley Templeton - Chattahoochee (Alpharetta, Ga.), 6-1 Senior
The 6-foot-1 senior setter amassed 1,271 assists, 541 digs, 436 kills, 93 service aces and 59 blocks this past season leading the Cougars (48-10) to the Class 6A state semifinal. She was named the state's Player of the Year and also an Under Armour All-American. She will play at Miami.L - Lauren Reminga - Hudsonville (Mich.), 5-4 Senior
She led Hudsonville to the state finals and 50-win season with 1060 digs (11.0). Reminga is a two-time first team all-state performer. She has signed with Ferris State.L - Claudia Coco - Chattahoochee (Alpharetta, Ga.), 5-4 Senior
Coco led the Cougars to a 50-win season and state finals berth with 57 aces (93% serving), 935 digs (6.6 avg.), 701 serve receptions and 153 assists. She is the state record holder for assists in a career. She will play at Tennessee.
All-Around - Nia Reed - Immaculate Heart Academy (Washington Township, N.J.), 6-2 Senior
She led Heart to a 47-2 record, a seventh straight Non-Public state title and a third-straight Tournament of Champions title when she recorded 510 kills, 199 digs, 110 blocks and 53 service aces while posting a hitting percentage of .557 and a kill percentage of .651. A 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour First Team All-American, Reed is a three-time First Team All-State selection. She will attend Penn State. She is a three-time state Gatorade winner.AA - Arianna Person - St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.), 5-9 Senior
Named 5A Volleyball Player of the Year by the Kansas Volleyball Association, Person led the Thunder to a 47-0 record and No. 2 national ranking and played on her fourth-straight state title team. As a senior, she posted 376 kills (57% kill avg.), had 39 blocks, and 325 digs. In her four years at St. James, the Thunder was 176-6. Person, an Under Armour All-American, will play at Belmont.Second Team OH - Lauryn Gillis - New Castle (Ind.), 6-2 Senior
Gillis, who will attend USC, averaged 5.7 kills (596 with 42% kill), served 45 aces, blocked 44 shots, had 259 digs and 460 serve receptions in leading New Castle to Sectional title. She was named the Star Press Volleyball Player of the Year and Under Armour honors.OH - Frankie Shebby - Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 6-1 Senior
Despite injuries that slowed her at times during the season, Shebby averaged 4.2 kills per set and had a kill percentage of .461 in leading Mater Dei to 33-8 (27-4 when she was in the lineup). She will play at Oregon.
OH - Ashlie Reasor - Reagan (San Antonio), 6-0 Senior
Reasor, who was named Texas large school player of year, led Reagan to a 40-7 record and deep run in the postseason. Headed to Texas A&M, she had 708 kills (6 per game), 42% kill, 76 aces, 91% , 94 blocks, 321 digs, 250 receptions. OH - Khalia Lanier - Xavier College Prep (Phoenix), 6-2 Sophomore
Named Arizona's Large School Player of Year, Lanier recorded 378 kills, and 193 digs in leading the team to a state title.OH - Beth Prince - Avon (Ind.), 6-3 Junior
A three-time All-State player, Prince led Avon to another state title with 447 kills (4.0), 61 blocks, and 154 digs.OH - Carly Skjodt - Carmel (Ind.), 6-0 Junior
The All-State pick led Carmel to a 37-2 record and the state finals. She recorded 565 kills (5.6), 62 blocks, 448 digs, and 279 serves.MH - Audriana Fitzmorris - St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.), 6-4 Sophomore
Fitzmorris played a major role in St. James Academy running the table (47-0) and winning a sixth-straight state title when she hit 67% (392 kills), served 95% (29 kills), and blocked 152 shots. She was a member of the U.S. Junior National team.MH - Mary-Kate Marshall - Coppell (Texas), 6-0 Senior
The Oregon State signee was the District 5-5A MVP and played all six rotations for Coppell. Marshall tallied 635 kills, 68 blocks, 430 digs and 41 aces. She was also an Under Armour All-American.
MH - Anna Walsh - Heritage (Colleyville, Texas), 6-1 Junior
Walsh, who is committed to Virginia, was Ft.Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Morning News and SportsDay's pick for the 2013 Texas Player of the Year. She finished the season with 600 kills on 1,233 attacks and was a .366 hitter. Defensively, Walsh added 50 blocks and 422 digs — an all-around contributor for one of the state's best teams.S - Jenna Gray - St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.), 5-9 Sophomore
Led the Thunder to its sixth-straight state title and set the table for All-American teammates Arianna Person and Audrianna Fitzmorris with 11.4 assists per game (1,116 during St. James' 47-0 season). She also recorded 75 kills (59%), served 96 percent, blocked 59 shots and recorded 226 digs as St. James lost just one set in 2013 (97 wins).S - Alexa Filley - Assumption (Louisville, Ky.), 5-10 Senior
Headed to Auburn, Filley led the Rockets to a 36-6 record and the state championship. She recorded 1,248 assists, 384 digs, 102 kills, 58 blocks and 41 service aces in her final high school season. Filley received Kentucky's Gatorade POY award.S - Taylor Tashima - New Trier (Winnetka, Ill.), 6-0 Senior
The Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year, Tashima — who had 170 kills, 54 blocks, 77 aces and 423 assists this season — will play at Northwestern. Tashima was captain for the 2012 and 2013 USA Girls' Youth National Team and competed internationally.S - Maggie Scott - Lafayette (Wildwood, Mo.), 5-10 Senior
Led Lafayette to a state title and 38-1-2 record by dishing out 11.7 assists per set. Also, a 95 percent server, Scott had 231 digs and 51 blocks. She will play at Oregon.L - Kelly Quinn - The Woodlands (Texas), 5-3 Senior
Quinn was named District 14-5A Defensive Player of the Year, and Texas All-State. She record 41 aces, 14 kills, 59 assists, 472 receptions and led the Nation's No. 1 team in digs with 674, averaging 5.5 per game. She has signed with LSU.
L – Caroline Wolf - Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.) 5-8 Senior
She led Benet to state finals and a 36-6 record. She will play at Wake Forest.A-A - Caroline Knop - La Salle (Pasadena, Calif.) - 5-11 Senior
The multi-talented Knop led the Lancers to a 32-6 record with 381 kills (42%), 608 digs (5.3%), and 26 aces (96% on 541 serves). She will earn 16 Varsity letters in her athletic career at La Salle while playing four varsity sports each year; Volleyball, Golf, Basketball, and Softball. She will play at Michigan.A-A - Rachel Minarick - Waubonsie Valley (Aurora, Ill.), 6-3 Senior
Minarick recorded 377 kills (.487 hitting) to go with 468 assists in leading Waubonsie to a 30-7 season and deep in playoffs. She also had 107 blocks, 157 digs and 44 aces. She has signed with Michigan State.Third Team OH - Clare Powers - Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 6-3 Senior
Despite injuries, Powers led Mitty to the state's D-II title with 408 kills (4.0), 33 blocks, 304 digs, 505 serve receptions and was a 96 percent server. She will attend St. Mary's.OH - Jasmine Hanna - Queen Creek (Ariz.), 6-1 Senior
Hanna put up big numbers – 683 kills (6.3), 29 aces, 44 blocks, 408 digs – in leading Queen Creek to a 29-win season. She will play at Colorado State.OH - Lily Johnson - Lafayette (Wildwood, Mo.), 5-11 Senior
Johnson led the Lancers to a 38-1-2 record and a third straight Class 4 state title when she recorded 398 kills, 270 digs, 66 service aces and 52 blocks. A 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour Second Team All-American, Scott also received state Gatorade POY honor. She will play at Missouri State.OH - Alohi Robins-Hardy - Kamehameha (Honolulu), 6-1 Senior
Robins-Hardy led the Warriors to the Hawaii Division I title. She was named the league MVP and state tournament MVP, Robins-Hardy averaged 4.3 assists, 3.2 kills, 3.1 digs and 1.2 blocks per set. She will play at BYU.
OH - Abby Buckingham - Churchill (San Antonio), 6-1 Sophomore
Led Churchill to the state 5A finals with 780 kills, 46.5% (1,678 attempts), 56 aces (90.5), 536 serves, 77 blocks, 462 digs, and 480 serve receptions.OH - Taylr McNeil – Eagan (Minn.), 6-1 Senior
McNeil led the Wildcats to a 30-2 record and the Class AAA state title. She recorded 563 kills, 337 digs, 56 blocks while compiling a .502 kill percentage. A four-time first team All-State selection and a 2013-14 First Team Under Armour All-American as named by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, McNeil will play at South Carolina.OH - Hailey Roberts - Cedar Park (Texas), 6-0 Senior
Roberts was the Westwood Tournament MVP, Northwest ISD All-Tournament team, district MVP, Austin Community Newspapers All-Suburban Player of the Year, and All-Central Texas first team after compiling 822 Kills (6.1 avg.), 55.5 blocks, 110 Aces, and 411 Digs as Cedar Park was 38-3 on season. She has signed with Tarleton State.OH - Maddy Deters – Granite Bay (Calif.), 6-0 Senior
Deters had a team high 440 kills, 57 aces and 214 digs as Granite Bay finished No. 3 nationally and won the California Division I title. She will play collegiately at Concordia University of Irvine.MH - Beth Nordhorn - Winter Park (Fla.), 6-6 Senior
Opposing teams did their best to stay away from Nordhorn, but she managed 75 blocks, and 292 kills (56%) as Winter Park won the 8A state title with a 30-3 record. She will play collegiately at North Carolina.MB - Tess Clark - Horizon (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 6-4 Senior
Clark, a first team all-state pick, had 350 kills (49%) and led the team to a 37-3 state runner-up finish. She also blocked 96 shots. She will attend Louisville.
S - Hunter Thompson – Brentwood (Tenn.), 5-10 Senior
Thompson led Brentwood to a 58-4 record and the Class AAA title. Thompson recorded 1,424 assists, 206 digs, 147 kills and 74 service aces. She was named the state's Gatorade POY. She will attend Furman.S - Kelsey Crawford - Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 5-9 Senior
The quarterback on California's second best team (D-II state champions), Crawford averaged 10.6 assists per set (1,000 in 90 sets). She also blocked 48 shots, had 233 digs, and served 92 percent. She will attend Yale.S - Gabrielle Benda - Wakefield (Raleigh, N.C.), 6-0 Senior
Benda recorded 80 aces in 935 serves, 44 blocks, 153 digs and averaged 10.5 assists per set (979) as Wakeville finished 27-2 and captured the state's 4A title. She will play at Marquette.S - Rachel Griffin - Avon (Ind.), 5-10 Senior
Griffin led Avon (37-3) to a state title with 10.3 assists per set, 96% serving, 60 blocks, and 225 digs. She will attend Indiana State.DS - Amy Nettles - Churchill (San Antonio), 5-4 Senior
Nettles played a major role in Churchill reaching the state finals and 47-3 season she she collected 154 kills, 48 aces (677 serves, 95%), 741 digs (5.1 avg.), 112 assists, and 795 serve receptions. She has signed with Texas A&M.DS/L - Ashley Dina - Lake Zurich (Ill.), 5-7 Senior
Dina led the team that allowed only 14 aces this season with 874 digs (21 per match).L - Cat McCoy - Carroll (Southlake, Texas), 5-7 Senior
McCoy tallied 583 digs for Southlake Carroll this season. McCoy was named the top defensive player at the prestigious Pearland Tournament, where Southlake Carroll finished third. McCoy is signed with Texas.