Video: Final Xcellent 25 Girls Volleyball Rankings Presented by The Army National Guard
See who landed on top after a great 2017 campaign.Player of the Year: Erin O'Leary, Novi (Mich.), 5-10 Sr.
O'Leary led Novi to its third straight Michigan large school title and a 57-3 won-loss record. With O'Leary running the court, Novi's final 31 matches were all victories. She once again put up big numbers: 150 kills (46.6 kill percent), 264 service point on 91.3 percent serving with 79 aces, 218 digs (2.4 per set average) and 1,017 assists in 89 sets for an 11.4 per set average.
O'Leary is the Michigan High School Athletic Association career leader in assists with 5,678, to go with 1,311 career digs, 814 kills, 317 aces and 184 blocks. She is also the first Novi player to win Michigan's coveted Miss Volleyball honor. And she ran away with that honor, doubling the points of the runner-up.
The state Gatorade volleyball award winner is a four time MaxPreps All-American and was named MaxPreps National Junior of the Year. She has been a member of two Team USA age group squads.
Novi coach Jennifer Cottrill said there is no way to replace O'Leary and it is difficult to describe the meaning she has to Novi's program.
"Erin's meaning to our program is impossible to describe in words," said Cottrill. "Her prestigious skill set obviously enabled us to be beyond successful as a team during her four years, But what will last longer is the legacy she left with her unwavering work ethic, humble leadership and true love for her teammates, volleyball program, school and community."
O'Leary plans to graduate high school early and enroll at the University of Michigan in January. She committed to the Wolverines following her freshman season at Novi.
"There will be absolutely no way to replace Erin in the stat column or setting the culture in our gym or being an ambassador for our program as an outstanding citizen and student athlete," said Cottrill.
Cottrill added that Erin's father, Brian, was a soccer coaching legend in Novi and that he instilled early many of her attributes that led to her athletic success.
"He coached for 17 years and won five state championships, but retired from coaching after Erin's sophomore year so that he could watch her play in her last two," said Cottrill. "Erin heard all of the right things growing up, about a team-first mentality, always working hard and focusing on the process. A true coach's kid."Previous National Players of the Year:
2016 — Lexi Sun, Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach, Calif.)
2015 — Nicole Peterson, Jesuit (Portland, Ore.)
2014 — Alexis Smith, Lewis-Palmer (Monument, Colo.)
2013 — Courtney Eckenrode, The Woodlands (Conroe, Texas)
2012 — Amber and Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion LaVista South (Papillion, Neb.)
2011 — Nicole Dalton, Chaparral (Parker, Colo.)
2010 — Tiffany Baker, Hebron (Texas)
2009 — Rachel Williams, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)
2008 — Lauren Cook, Pius X (Lincoln, Neb.)TEAM OF THE YEAR: Walton (Marietta, Ga.), 40-1
With four All-State players — Reilly MacNeill
, Gabby Gonzales
, Riley Spurlin
and Caroline Cheney
— leading the way, Walton was named the 2017 MaxPreps National Champion.
Walton won a trio of major out-of-state tournaments and owns a 2-0 victory over No. 3 Assumption (42-3), Kentucky's state champion.
Overall, Walton defeated opponents that combined to post a 977-408 record. Only four of its opponents had losing records. Walton defeated six state champions and was 97-4 in set play.
Gonzales is a finalist for National Junior of the Year and was named Georgia's 7A player of the year.
The Raiders have eight players signed or committed to play at the next level: seniors Sam Jones
(West Georgia) and Katie Crocker
(Kennesaw State); juniors Gonzales and MacNeil (Ohio State), Meghan Froemming
(Georgia), Jordan Rush
(Palm Beach Atlantic) and Molly Pember
(Auburn) and freshman Emery Dupes
(Florida State).Previous Teams of the Year:
2016 — Mother McAuley, Chicago
2015 — Indianapolis Cathedral (Ind.)
2014 — Lewis-Palmer (Monument, Colo.)
2013 — The Woodlands (Conroe, Texas)
2012 — Lafayette (Wildwood, Mo.)
2011 — Papillion LaVista South (Papillion, Neb.)
2010 — Saint Francis (Mountain View, Calif.)
2009 — Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)
2008 — La Costa Canyon (Encinitas, Calif.)COACH OF THE YEAR: Suzanne Fitzgerald, Walton (Marietta, Ga.), 40-1
Fitzgerald concluded her eighth — and best — season guiding the Raiders to their third-straight state 7A championship.
"There is a part of me that cannot fully grasp the idea that we are being named National Champions," said Fitzgerald. "There is another part of me that gets pretty emotional when I stop and consider just what that title represents — all the hard work, discipline, hours of training and preparing, the traveling, the planning — the coming together of parents, players, coaches, fans and administrators. Just overwhelms me in the most awesome way possible. At the end of the day, the title is a beautiful and tangible reminder that, when all are committed to a common philosophy — a philosophy founded in reaching one's potential — amazing things can happen."
A former Marine, Fitzgerald began her coaching career in Redding, Calif. (Shasta High School). Fitzgerald's oldest daughter, Celeste, is a former MaxPreps All-American.Previous Coach of the Year:
2016 — Andrew Soloman, Pennfield (New York)
2015 — Jean Kesterson, Indianapolis Cathedral (Ind.)
2014 — Susan Odenbaugh, Lewis-Palmer (Monument, Colo.)
2013 — Tricia Plummer, Granite Bay (Calif.)
2012 — Zach Young, Lafayette (Wildwood, Mo.)
2011 — Mike Estes, East Lake (Tarpon Springs, Fla.)
2010 — Ryan Mitchell, Lovejoy (Lucas, Texas)
2009 — Bret Almazan-Cezar, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)
2008 — Pat McDougall, La Costa Canyon (Encinitas, Calif.)
In addition to O'Leary, the 2017 MaxPreps At-Large Volleyball All-America team includes:First team
MH — Gabby Gonzales, Walton (Marietta, Ga.), 6-4, Jr.
A finalist for the MaxPreps National Junior Player of the Year, Gonzales played key role in leading Walton to its 11th state title and MaxPreps National Title. A first team All-State pick, she recorded 558 kills (5.5 kills per set) and had 220 digs. On four occasions, she averaged more than 8.5 kills per set in a match. Pledged to Ohio State, Gonzales was named the Marietta Daily Journal's Player of the Year.MB — Ellie Holzman, Mt. Carmel (New Orleans), 6-2, Jr.
Holzman finished this season with 744 kills, 440 digs, 128 blocks and 40 aces in leading Mt. Carmel to the state large school championship and a 41-7 record. In the title match, Holzman recorded 36 kills to pace the Cubs (39-7) and earn MVP honors. She was named The Times Picayune's Large School Player of the Year and was named MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year in 2016. Louisiana's 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year has committed to Illinois. She is a finalist for the MaxPreps National Junior Player of the Year.MH — Capri Davis, Lake Ridge (Mansfield, Texas), 6-3, Sr.
Davis lead Mission Lake to a 35-win season, averaging 4.6 kills, 3.1 digs and 3.6 serve receptions per set. She also served 46 aces and blocked 87 shots. Signed with Nebraska, she finished her high school career with almost 1,400 kills and over 500 blocks.MH — Karson Bacon, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.), 6-4, Sr.
Bacon averaged 5.3 kills and 2.0 digs per set as Rancho Cucamonga went 23-10. She also served 400 aces and blocked 71 shots. She has signed with Oregon.OH — Adanna Rollins, Hebron (Carrollton, Texas), 6-2, Sr.
Committed to Minnesota, Rollins was the MVP of the Class 6A state championship match as Hebron repeated as state champions. Rollins was named All-State after finishing the season with a team-leading 562 kills and 587 digs for her 41-7 team.OH — Keeley Davis, Rock Canyon (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), 6-2, Sr.
Colorado's top 5A player, Davis led Rock Canyon to the state semifinals and a 20-9 season in 2017 when she averaged 5.8 kills, 3.6 digs and 4.9 serve receptions per set. She also blocked 59 shots and served 92.7 percent. She is committed to Creighton.OH — Charley Niego, Mother McAuley (Chicago), 6-1, Sr.
Signed by Notre Dame, Niego averaged 5.8 kills and 4.7 digs per set. In leading Mother McAuley to a 35-5 record, Niego also served for 283 points (on 98.7 serving percentage) and blocked more than one shot per set.OH — Haley Warner, Fayetteville (Ark.), 6-2, Sr.
Signed with Florida, Warner teamed with Ella May Powell to put the Bulldogs on the map. Warner, who averaged 6.0 kills and 1.9 assists per set as a senior, was a member of the U.S. Youth National Team and is a four-time MaxPreps All-American. The four-time All-Stater finished her career with 2,089 kills, 349 blocks and 917 digs as the Bulldogs won three state title. As a freshman in 2014, Warner was MaxPreps National Frosh Volleyball Player of the Year.OH — Thayer Hall, Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.), 6-2, Sr.
Hall, a finalist for National Player of the Year, led Dorman to the state 5A title and a 46-2 record when she killed 608 shots (5.0 per-set average) at a 50-percent rate. Hall also served 50 aces for 283 points (91.5 percent serving average). Add 420 digs and 442 serve receptions and you get the state Player of the Year for a second-straight season. She was a member of the 2016 Women's Junior National Team and has signed with Florida. She is a three-time South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year and three-time South Carolina High School Miss Volleyball.S — Molly Murrihy, Marist (Chicago), Sr.
In leading Marist to a No. 2 National ranking, Murrihy averaged 12-plus assists per set. The Daily Southtown 2017 Girls Volleyball Player of the Year has signed with Memphis following her single-season school record for assists with 1,132. She also added 130 kills, 132 blocks and 206 digs as Marist won its final 32 games, a state 4A title and finished 40-1.S — Devon Chang, Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), 5-11, Sr.
In leading Santa Margarita to the California D1 title, Chang served 95 percent (248 points), blocked 82 shots, had 85 kills and averaged 3.1 digs per set. But it was her quarterbacking the Eagles with 1,171 assists (9.8 average) that sets her above others. She has signed with UCLA.S — Ella May Powell, Fayetteville (Ark.), 6-0, Sr.
Powell, a veteran of the U.S. Girls' Youth National Team, led Fayetteville to three-straight large school championships. She was all over the court as a senior producing 309 kills (2.8 per set), 54 blocks, 48 aces, 270 digs (2.4) and setting 984 assists (8.8). For her career, Powell, who has signed with Washington, has 3,915 assists, 827 kills, 210 aces, 234 blocks and 1,079 digs. A-A — Jaden Whitmarsh, Torrey Pines (San Diego), 5-8, Sr.
A finalist for the California Player of the Year, Whitmarsh led 34-4 Torrey Pines to a deep playoff run and a high MaxPreps national ranking. She finished her senior year with team highs in kills (3.6 per set average), serve receptions (4.9) and digs (2.7). She also served for 193 points with a 92.5 average. She will play beach volleyball at UCLA.A-A — Brooke Nuneviller, Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.), 5-11, Sr.
Nuneviller, who played on the U.S.A. Youth National Volleyball team for the past two years, averaged 5 kills and 4.2 digs as Corona del Sol was state large school runner-up. Nuneviller also served for 273 points and 49 aces. She has signed with Oregon.A-A — Marissa Hornung, Providence (Clarksville, Ind.), 5-9, Sr.
Hornung has won three state championships, is a three-time, first-team All-State honoree, and led her team in digs and kills this fall as the team reached the state 4A semifinals and finished 37-2. she averaged 3.7 kills, 3.6 digs and 4.5 serve receptions as a senior. Hornung, who has signed with Purdue, finished her high school career with 1,556 kills, 1,381 digs and 139 aces.A-A — Melani Shaffmaster, New Castle (Ind.), 6-3, So.
The National Freshman of the Year in 2016 is a finalist for MaxPreps National Sophomore Player of the Year after leading New Castle to the state 3A championship. Shaffmaster put up monster stats for the second-straight season: 456 Kills (3.9 per set average and 52.2 kill percent in 873 attempts), served 74 aces, recorded 101 blocks, had 219 digs and 952 assists (8.2 avg.). She has committed to Minnesota.L — Annie Benbow, Hebron (Carrollton, Tex.), 5-3, Sr.
The San Diego signee was All-State as Hebron repeated as state 6A champions. Benbow recorded 661 digs – almost 100 more digs than she did during an all-state junior season.L — Kelsey Campeau, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 5-4, Sr.
Heading to UCLA, Campeau led Mater Dei to the Nike Tournament of Champions title in Phoenix and runner-up in the state Open Division. A standout defensive player, Campeau averaged 5.6 serve receptions and 4.8 digs per set and also served for 272 points.Second team
MH — Alana Hruska, RHAM (Hebron, Conn.), 6-2, Sr.
Hruska recorded a 63 percent kill ratio and averaged 5.9 kills per set as RHAM won the state Class L championship and posted a 35-1-1 record. She also blocked a shot per set.MB — Gloria Mutiri, Page (Sand Springs, Okla.), 6-1, Sr.
Signed with Kansas State, Muturi led the nation in blocks with 506 (4.9 blocks per set). She also averaged 4.8 kills and served 41 aces as Page went 14-19 on the season.MB — Katie Clark, Arlington (Texas), 6-4, Sr.
Clark, a TCU signee, was the District 4-6A MVP and an a repeat All-State selection. Clark finished her senior season with a school record 650 kills (5.1 per set). She had 12 matches with 20 or more kills. Clark had a school record 2,321 kills for her career. She also had 415 digs.MB — Emma Funk, Our Lady Academy (Bay St. Louis, Miss.), 5-10, Sr.
Funk is a three-time MaxPreps All-American and gets better each year. And each year, Our Lady Academy wins a state title. Funk is 4-for-4 in state title games. As a senior, Funk had 630 kills (6.1 per set average), 113 blocks, 311 digs, 324 service receives and 65 aces and lead Our Lady Academy to its sixth-straight title. She was the nation's leading hitting leader (.681 percentage) and had a kill ratio of 72.9. to go with her 98.4 serving percentage. Funk, who played in 130 victories over four seasons at Our Lady Academy, will attend Trinity University. She is a finalist for National Small School Player of the Year.OH — Mackenzie Cole, Connetquot (Bohemia, N.Y.), 5-10, Sr.
Cole switched from libero to outside hitter this season to help her team and led Connetquot to the state AA title. She led the team in kills (333), finished second in aces (74) and chipped in 292 digs. Cole, who has signed to play libero at Duke, was named Newsday's Long island Player of the Year.OH — Mia Grunze, Waterford (Wis.), 6-2, Sr.
Grunze, who will play for Ohio State, was named the All-Racine County Player of the Year and a Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association All-State first team for second straight year following her senior season which included conference records for kills per game (6.3). She also had 411 serve receptions (2.2 passing average), 342 digs and 50 aces. OH — Kamrin Caoili, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 6-0, Sr.
Named the West Catholic Athletic League's top player, Caoili was instrumental in leading the Monarchs to their second-straight California Open Division title, a 37-5 season and a No. 5 National ranking. She averaged 3.3 kills (48.7 percent hitting), served for 200 points, blocked 84 shots, and had 345 serve receptions and 182 digs in 115 sets. She has signed with Santa Clara.OH — Raegan Steiner, Billings Senior (Mont.), 6-1, Sr.
Steiner led Senior to a 39-2 record and a high national ranking until a pair of late-season losses when she average 4.4 kills, 2.7 digs and 3.5 serve receptions per set. She has signed with Idaho State.OH — Lanie Wagner, Xavier College Prep (Phoenix), 6-2, Sr.
Wagner led Xavier to a 40-3 record, a No. 9 national ranking, and then finished by defeating defending champion Corona del Sol in the 6A Championships. She averaged 4.5 kills per set (537 total), served 96.1 percent, blocked 66 shots and averaged 3.9 serve receptions and 2.8 digs. She has signed with Lipscomb University.OH — Nicole Liddle, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 5-11, Sr.
The future Dartmouth Big Green player led California large school state champion Mitty in kills 451 (4.3 per set average), had 376 (3.6) serve receptions and 208 digs.
OH — Tess Wyner, George Washington (Charleston, W. Va.), 5-10, Sr.
Wyner, who will play collegiately at Virginia Tech, is a two-time West Virginia Sports Writers Association Volleyball Player of the Year. As a senior, Wyner recorded 530 kills, 82 aces, 268 digs, and 173 total blocks (107 solo). As a result, the Patriots went 58-2-3 this season.S — Gabby Blossom, St. Joseph's Academy (St. Louis), 5-10, Sr.
Blossom, who has signed with Penn State, averaged 11.3 assists per set and committed just 13 ball-handling errors out of 1961 chances. As a result, St. Joseph's averaged 14.1 kills per set. More importantly, it went 32-3 and won the state 4A title. Blossom averaged 13 assists per set in four state tournament matches. She was named the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Player of the Year.S — Lily Heim, Marian (Omaha, Neb.), 6-2, Sr.
Heim was a four-year standout at Marian and in leading the Crusaders to a 38-2 state-title winning season, she is averaged 11.1 assists, has 62 aces on 93 percent serving and averages 2.6 digs per set. Heim, who has signed with SMU, averaged better than 13 assists per set in Marian's last four postseason victories.S — Carly Graham, Oak Ridge (Conroe, Texas), 6-0, Sr.
Graham closed out her sterling career leading the War Eagles to a 31-5 season when she averaged 2.8 kills, 3.5 digs and 9.8 assists in 102 sets. She also served 40 aces and blocked 52 shots. For her career, Graham totaled 1,760 digs, 3,964 assists and 1003 kills. She has signed with Rice.S — Kaitlyn Rogers, Weatherford (Texas), 6-2, Sr.
Rogers set a school single-season record 1,521 assists, and added 261 digs, 161 kills, 68 aces and 52 blocks. She recorded double-digit assists in each game, with 20 or more assists 46 times for the 41-7 Kangaroos. Rogers, who has signed with Texas A&M, was named the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Player of the Year.A-A — Camryn Ennis, Reagan (San Antonio), 6-0, Sr.
Ennis and her Reagan teammates spent much of the season ranked No. 1 in the MaxPreps Xcellent Rankings and finished the season 44-2. And no one was more valuable to Reagan that the future Kansas Jayhawk Ennis. She averaged 2.7 kills, 4.0 digs, 7.0 assists per set and served 95 percent.A-A — Kenzie Knuckles, Yorktown (Ind.), 5-9, Jr.
Knuckles, who was a finalist for the MaxPreps National Sophomore Player of the Year, led Yorktown to a 36-3 season. She averaged 4.8 kills and 4.3 digs per set. The future Nebraska Cornhusker also served at a 96.3 percent.A-A — Hawley Harrer, Sisters (Ore.), 6-2, Sr.
Signed with UCLA, Harrer was the state 4A Player of the Year after leading the Outlaws to the state 4A title. She hits (four-plus kills per set with a 55.8 kill percentage),she sets (three-plus assists per set, she serve (65 aces with a 96.8 percentage), she digs (two digs per set) and blocked 50 shots. Harrer, who has played in four state title matches during her high school career has had four different head coaches. She is a finalist for National Medium School player of the year. L — Allegra Rivas, Aledo (Texas), 5-10, Sr.
Rivas recorded the second highest total in Texas with 1,122 digs and added 192 assists for the state semifinalist Bearcats. She made 20 or more digs 33 times, and 30 or more 10 times. Rivas is the District 6-5A Defensive MVP.L — Taylor Baranski, Minooka (Ill.), 5-6, Jr.
Baranski averaged 6.2 digs per set as Indians reached the state 4A finals. She was first team All-State and has committed to Iowa State.